Tattoo News Review
07:28 AM
preserved tattoo.jpg
Photo by Katarzyna Mirczak.

There have been some interesting tattoo articles in recent news worthy of a round-up:

Yesterday, the NY Times ran an article entitled "Fresh Ink for the Human Canvas," which explores specific styles of tattooing, particularly watercolor-inspired work and hyper-realistic tattoos. It's a fashion & style piece, so there's no deep exploration of tattoo genres and fine art influences, but it's worth a read for some discussion on social media's affect on tattoo choices and stylistic tattoo trends, for which renowned artist Mark Mahoney offers his thoughts. There's also a mention of a company called "Flash Tattoo," which creates temporary jewelry-like tattoos, but it seems disjointed with the point of the article.

NPR has a piece entitled "Honolulu Police Chief's Ban On Visible Tattoos Sparks Criticism," which is a bit different from the usual articles on tattoo bans for law enforcement and military because the appearance-based standards affect largely Hawaiian officers for whom their tattoos attach significant cultural and religious meaning -- thereby, triggering potential issues with Title 7, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Here's more from that article:

Keone Nunes is a practitioner who taps out tattoo designs just as they were done a thousand years ago. He uses a hand-held tool -- a kind of miniature rake with needle-sharp tines made of animal tusks dipped in black ink. Uhi, or the artwork, is secondary to the prayers, protocols and techniques used in the ancient Native Hawaiian practice, he says.

"The symbols identified who you were," Nunes says. "There is a huge religious connotation to it."

But Honolulu's police chief, Louis Kealoha, sees it differently.

A Hawaiian native, Kealoha himself has a cultural tattoo on his right biceps but says his dress and grooming policy establishes uniform standards without exceptions.

"You can do that off-duty, but you cannot have any visible tattoos," says Kealoha. "That's going to take away from the professional image of the officer and of the reputation of the police department."

In other news, and for a lighter read, Gothamist has photos from the Urban Ink Convention, which took place in Brooklyn this past weekend.

Westword.com interviews 5 Denver tattooists, and they have some thoughful things to say about their craft.

Normally, I regret reading articles about tattoo regret, but this XO Jane article "I Am Getting Half Of My Tattoos Removed And I Still Have No Regrets," raises some insightful points on tattoo decisions made by Generation Y -- a generation who are used to walking into a shopping mall and getting instant tattoo gratification. 

Further along the lines of regret, Chile's Mauricia Pinilla memorialized his regrettable soccer play with this tattoo.

Finally, the work of Katarzyna Mirczak is making the Internet rounds again after the Huffington Post article "18 Preserved Prison Tattoos That Are Still Attached To Skin," was published this Sunday. As we wrote about back in 2010, Mirczak's beautiful photographic series, called Preserving the Criminal Code, features a collection of 60 tattooed skins (preserved in formaldehyde) taken largely from dead prisoners. According to Mirczak, the Department of Forensic Medicine at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, collected the skins "with a view to deciphering the code - among prisoners known as a 'pattern language'. By looking closely at the prisoners' tattoos, their traits, temper, past, place of residence or the criminal group in which they were involved could be determined." If you haven't already viewed these powerful images, I highly recommend a look.

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