Results tagged “Skin Deep”

08:32 AM
amanda wachob.jpg
Tattoo above by Amanda Wachob.

My morning has gotten off to a great start thanks to BBC Radio 4's "A Mortal Work of Art" -- a wonderfully produced program that explores the intersection of the tattoo and fine art worlds. With the program 28 minutes long, I figured I'd just let in play on my laptop while I busied myself with other tasks; however, the really insightful discussion on the artistry of tattooing stopped me from doing anything else, so I just sat down and learned something.

What makes the program so compelling is that Mary Anne Hobbs, who hosted the piece, talks to the very people who have changed tattooing in the fine art context and who have shared very different ways of viewing tattoo art: 

The legendary Spider Webb brought tattooing into galleries, museums, and even Christie's auction house, particularly for his conceptual tattoo projects, which he still continues to innovate today. He also talks to the BBC about fighting NYC's tattoo ban (which wasn't overturned until 1997).

London's Alex Binnie, owner of the famed Into You Tattoo, shares his thoughts on tattooing's impact on pop culture -- an impact greater than any the fine art world has had. The program ends on a strong note with his assertions on why tattooing doesn't need validation from anyone other than those wearing it.

Amanda Wachob discusses what motivated her to experiment with nontraditional tattoo imagery, to offer something different to clients beyond the standard menu, which has made her one of the most sought-after tattooers in New York.

Of course, our good friend Dr. Matt Lodder, art historian, is brilliant when he discusses what tattooing can gain by being accepted as an art form; that is, real critique of what is good, bad, derivative, ethical, new ... rather than looking at tattoos as one homogenous thing. He's currently writing a book on tattooing in the UK from an art historian perspective, which will be an important contribution to our community.

Also in the BBC program are Shelley Jackson, renowned for her "Skin" project, where a story she has written is conveyed through words tattooed on people around the world; artist Sandra Ann Vita Minchin discusses how mortality & legacy inform her own use of tattooing in her performance art -- and how she plans to grow skin through her DNA and tattoo it as an extension of her body project; and Sion Smith, editor of Skin Deep, and Trent Aitken-Smith, editor of Tattoo Master, weigh in on tattoo culture today.

Again, this is a fantastic listen and worth the time. Check it here.
12:19 PM
the tattoo bible.jpg
I'm sitting here with the new tattoo book by the publishers of the UK's Skin Deep mag, written and edited by the fabulous Alex Guest. The Tattoo Bible is 164 pages of everything you always wanted to know about sex tattoos but were afraid to ask. It's got goodness for newbies, from choosing the right artwork and artist to aftercare. And it's got excellent interviews and images for those of us who think we know everything because we have a dumb blog.

Here's my problem with it

We're in it, and they say nice stuff about us. And so even if I give The Tattoo Bible a fair shake, it'll still bring all the haters to the yard with statements like "Oh, well the book highlights Black Tattoo Art and Needles & Sins, so of course she has to say something nice in that big tattoo circle gerkin." Or something to that effect.

So, instead of the glowing review I just deleted, I'm going to offer the book basics, have you decide for yourselves, and hope that Alex Guest won't regret ever mentioning my cursed name in his first tattoo testament.

* First note, The Tattoo Bible is described as a "bookazine," that is, a book/magazine hybrid that is perfect bound on thick paper with a glossy softcover but with lower production costs than a traditional book, and so they are more affordable.

* The layout is also slick like a magazine so those of us with attention deficit disorder won't miss juicy quotes from tattoo legends like this one from Lyle Tuttle:

"Each of the six major religions of the world have some type of prohibition against tattooing--that just tells you that tattoos are really hot sh*t!"

* An extra bonus for the ADD set is that information--from Otzi the Iceman to needle configuration to fine art techniques--is clear and concise; thus, you learn a lot in a short time and can immediately impress your friends on facebook without a lot of study.

* The Tattoo Conventions chapter is the best money-saving primer on how to choose which shows to attend and which to avoid giving your entrance fee to.

* The Tattoo Removal chapter not only provides important practical info but also features some brilliant tattoo transformations.

* Oh, and the PainOmeter graphic rocks!

... Yup, this is spiraling into a review.

For a better idea from a neutral source, read TattoosdayUK's review and interview with Alex.

You can purchase The Tattoo Bible online for 9.99BP at Amazon UK or directly from Jazz Publishing.
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