Tattoo News Review
Photo of Beverly Yuen Thompson above.
Money, sex and more were part of the recent tattoo headlines ...
Starting with dollar signs, two articles focused on tattoo economics: the "The business of making tattoos go away" and "Tattoos: The ultimate art investment?" The tattoo removal story, which looks at Vamoose, a laser removal business in Chicago, is not really interesting in itself; what caught my attention was how one partner in Vamoose stated that he expected "a spike [in business] from a new Chicago Police Department rule forbidding officers to show tattoos while in uniform if the ban survives a court challenge." Tattoo bans can lead to bigger bucks it seems.
The art investment article is a better read. It leads off with the $55,000 body suit of our friend Jesus Ayala, whose stunning work by David Sena is really priceless. [You can see more of Jesus' tattoos in this pic with my sis and Andrew (also tattooed by David) at the NYC tattoo convention.]
Both articles cite some different numbers on what Americans allegedly spend on tattoos annually: the removal story cites an old Pew Research study putting that number at $1.65 billion, while the other article cites an IbisWorld study saying that, by 2020, revenue from the tattoo industry [as a whole -- not just what people spend] is expected to surpass a billion dollars. Both seem low to me. There are a lot of 55K bodysuits across America, not to mention the rise in rates with the rise of "celebrity tattoo artists." Looks like it's time for a new study.
On sex front ... "The Secret Lives Of Tattooed Women" looks at Beverly Yuen Thompson's new book, "Covered in Ink Tattoos, Women and the Politics of the Body." I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy; after having some great conversations with Beverly for the book about what heavily tattooed women experience -- positive & negative -- I'm sure it's a wonderful read. There's naturally discussion of how we're often viewed as sexually available and of "questionable character." Here's a taste from the article:
As recently as the 1950s, one artist, Samuel Steward, recalled enforcing a rule of spousal permission for women getting tattoos to avoid blowback from furious husbands; some women, such as the partners of bikers, were permitted to get tattoos... that branded them as "Property of" their men. During that time period, Thompson pointed out, "policies that required women to have parental or spousal permission for doing many things in their daily life were common." A tattooed woman might seem on the fringes of society, of questionable character, not appropriately deferential to a male authority. Even now, she said, this pressure continues informally: "Many tattoo artists report that after getting divorced, women come to tattoo studios in droves, and say things like, 'My husband would never let me get a tattoo. So now I can!'"You can order the book online at NYU Press. Also check Beverly's documentary "Covered," which is available in its entirety on YouTube here.
Looking at a family of tattooed women in Bristol, check this sweet article, "Three generations of women got a tattoo after eldest of the trio declared "you only live once." [Thanks for the link, Paul!]
And beloved tattoo matriarch, Loretta Leu, talks about giving her first tattoo, which is a great read. Find more history on the iconic tattoo family here.
The tattoo news also included news on celebrity tattoo mistakes, and other ridiculousness but that doesn't leave much to think or talk about. Always feel free to share your thoughts on the headlines in our Facebook group or Tweet at me. [I also have this Instagram thing.]