Sep201418
The New Yorker Gets Tattooed (Again)
08:53 AM
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UPDATE: The wonderful Helena Wissarionowna posted, in the Needles & Sins Facebook group, two other tattoo-related New Yorker Covers, which I added below.

Yesterday, I posted on Instagram and Facebook, the image above of the recent cover of The New Yorker magazine illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti. It was a "Like" parade, but also inspired some serious critique, particularly the context of the illustration, rather than the artwork itself. Gawker Media's Lux Alptraum noted on her Facebook page that she found it a fetishization of tattooed women by a publication trying to be edgy. It's a good point, although I noted that more objectification and exploitation of tattooed women comes from our own industry media.

In the back story of the cover, Mattotti himself says: "Doing fashion illustrations is part of my work, but for me it's all about women [...] It's all about women--very pictorial women putting on dresses, putting on a show."

This wasn't the first time The New Yorker made tattoos a central theme of its cover. In the October 29, 2012 issue, the "Skin Deep" cover below by Barry Blitt offered an homage to the Norman Rockwell painting "The Tattoo Artist." In that New Yorker back story, Blitt says of his cover illustration:  "'The Tattoo Artist' features a sailor with a long list of girlfriends' inked names crossed out on his arm," he said. "This seemed like a nice tableau for highlighting Mitt the politician's shifting positions and convictions."

So, is this an out-of-fashion publication trying to bank on tattoo cool, or just another example of mainstream media embracing the art form?

Share your thoughts on the Needles & Sins Facebook group page or hit me up on Twitter.


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Peter de Seve_tattoo_newyorker.jpgCover above by Peter de Seve.

Chris Ware_tattoo_newyorker.jpg


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