Black is beautiful, my friends.
In fact, I've taken the statement to heart (and skin) with enough black ink in my dermis to fill the Library of Congress. And with this passion for blackwork tattoos, I began collecting images and some stories of the world's best tattoo artists only working in black ink with the help of my primary tattooist, former hubby, and friend, Daniel DiMattia of Calypso Tattoo, renowned himself for this style. The result ...
Black Tattoo Art: Modern Expressions of the Tribal.
The book will be released this Thursday, September 10 and yes, there will be some partying. Join me on Thursday at Tattoo Culture from 7 to 10:30pm for drinks, food, and an awesome playlist of tunes by the fabulous Ron Worthy.
I'll be selling some of my author copies at a discounted rate of $120 at the party. You can click the link (above right) to order my copies while supplies last for $159.
The book is available through LastGasp.com and from Hermansky books.
UPDATE: Get Free Shipping from LastGasp.com on Black Tattoo Art by using the promo code "Needles" at checkout.
Keep in mind that the book -- published by fine art and erotic publishers Edition Reuss -- is a 536-page, thread-bound hardcover with silver embossing that weighs over six pounds. A friend suggested that it will also nicely double as a home defense device. Or free weight.
Evan's sleeves by David Sena of North Star Tattoo
So yeah, my first tattoo book is done and out soon. All I can say right now is freakin finally!
Apologies for the lack of highbrow here but I did write a fancy press release with big words. What I didn't mention in the release is the year-long process of seeking out pictures and stories of the top blackwork artists. Many of whom shun online communication and enjoy long stretches of time without any worldly contact so to rejuvenate and become inspired for the masterful tattoos featured. But try to explain large size 300 DPI format to 'em ...
I joke. Kinda.
Seriously, it was a great honor to curate the very first English language book EVER dedicated to blackwork tattooing in its many forms. It was inspired by Ed Hardy's TattooTime premier issue entitled New Tribalism. In it, the legendary Cliff Raven said one of my favorite quotes:
"The perfect tattoo -- the one I believe we are all struggling toward -- is the one that turned the jackass into the zebra."Raven, one of the pioneers of the fine art tattoo movement, wrote that after 20 years of tattooing, he found "decorative art" was the tattoo style that best fit the human canvas. He explained that creating two-dimensional elaborations on a three-dimensional object is akin to "pin striping an auto as opposed to copying Frazetta paintings onto the sides of vans." It was a bold statement, but one perfectly suited to the tattoo movement it trumpeted.
He called this style "Pre-Technological Tattooing." Hardy called it "New Tribalism." Most have used the term "Neo-tribal" to define the tattooing of Leo Zulueta, one of the first contemporary tattooists to fully dedicate his body of work to interpreting the arts of indigenous cultures (also featured in Black Tattoo Art).
More recently, many tattooists have been defining their portfolios as "Blackwork," taking their tribal interpretations even farther but still adhering to the decorative arts tenets. Indeed, there is a rainbow of terms to describe this monochromatic art form.
Work by Vincent Hocquet of Beautiful Freak Tattoo
For this book, we kept it simple with the title "Black Tattoo Art: Modern Expressions of the Tribal" to encompass the various designs and aesthetics that have sprung from the Neo-Tribal movement; a movement which took root in the late sixties, flourished in the eighties and nineties, and pollenized the beautiful offshoots of today.
The title is deceptively simple, however, because what really is "modern black" tattoo art?
It's not a book on traditional tribal tattooing. There is a chapter that looks at a few artists today reviving their ancestral tattoo arts, but this is a very small part of this monster volume.
It is a book that looks at how today's tattooists have taken the tenets of tribal arts -- the soulfulness and harmony with the body -- and applied it in contemporary, imaginative ways.
To see sample pages of their work in the book, check the Black Tattoo Art Flickr set.
I hope to see y'all at Tattoo Culture. If not, this month I'll also be selling the book at the Paradise Tattoo Gathering September 17-20, and at the London Tattoo Convention September 25-27. More convention dates to come.
And now, gotta rest up for Thursday's party.
I just checked my Facebook friends list and I have 660 of the most fabulous people sharing the love.
Brian mocks me because I obviously have never met all. I'll usually confirm a friend unless they rep in a hateful way or know my father. I also just find it tremendously helpful to this blog because I get ideas or find tattoo events through the news feeds.
And now I'm just six people away from my 666th FB friend!
Soooo, I decided to reward that ominous beastie with my usual prize: crap from my parents' attic.
Befriend me here.
And while you're at it, join the Needles + Sins Syndicate for party and event updates as well as a forum to voice your thoughts on how to make the site better.
I kiss you!
And by ink, I mean verbiage not tatouage.
Since 2005, I've been writing about my passion for tattoos near daily for Needled.com.
Today marks the last day of blogging for Needled ... And the first day on Needles and Sins, a site that talks tattoos and other fine art, plus music, graff, shopping, book reviews, events, and maybe a little bit o' sexiness.
Think of it as Needled Amped with more topics, more features and more kink.
This little blog will transform into a platform for other writers, podcasts, video blogs and maybe even a community where y'all can get involved. Big plans abound!
Highbrow for the underground -- and lowdown on the lowbrow. Something for everybody.
I welcome your ideas and thoughts for this new blogging adventure. Thank you so much for your support.
I smooch you!