I know tattooing is still an ambivalent subject for a lot of people…..I find it quite intriguing and am still trying to coax a tattooist to come on my program for a chat.
Once it seemed to prevail only in the domain of prisoners and sailors, but now even the most unlikely people may have a discreet skin decoration hidden away!
There is nothing discreet about the people who are sharing their tatts in this really fascinating book, the creation of photographer Nicolas Brulez, who has a website titled THE TATTOORALIST, of which the book is really an extension.
Of course, there are early records of tattoos being flaunted in Australia among the early arrivals. There is a very interesting and lavishly illustrated book titled CONVICT TATTOOS, which covers this aspect very well.
However, it has changed since those early days and much of the artwork now is just that.. ART, with human skin as the canvas.
This book is both interesting and tantalising as, in many instances, the photograph shows a fully dressed person or persons, no sign of the hidden artwork, and on the next page displays it in all its glory!
There are 100 subjects, including persons such as authors, composers, artists and circus performers… a far cry from the early days! All those featured in this book are European and often photographed against familiar landmarks.
Some of the entries feature Q & As with the proud possessor of the tattoos, others include in great detail credits and locations of the tattoo artists who created the artwork. Many of the designs are extremely beautiful and delicate,others quite bizarre!
One can’t help wincing a bit as we speculate as to how much pain must have gone into the creation of these works of great delicacy and artistry, which is certainly what many of them are. One must also wonder how these tattoos will age as their “hosts” shrivel and wrinkle with the passing years! Now they are eye catching, distinctive and, in many instances, quite beautiful.
For an interesting read and great visual entertainment, I really do recommend this book.
The Good Life on 3MDR – 97.1 FM. streaming on http://www.3mdr.com (Live to air every Monday 3.00-5.00 P.M.
Publisher Mitchell Beasley/Octopus