More posters for the upcoming ‘Divergent’ movie have emerged and they look quite interesting. As for the book itself, I got to read it and must say it’s ‘one-time read’ for me – an interesting idea but overall it won’t beat such dystopian classics as ‘1984’ or ‘The Brave New World.’
When the Great Ones of the industry speak out, I can only rejoice! And an autobiography of Don Ed Hardy is simply great!
The book does not disappoint at all! Hardy turns out to be as very down-to-earth and focused on art as you’d expect him to be (after all, he isn’t, and has never been, one of the ink celebrities plastered all over the Net, his own name aside that is). The language he uses in the book is straightforward, down-to-earth (again) and sounds more like his own voice than him shaped by his co-author, Joel Selvin.
The book is chronologically oriented and Hardy shows us around his life/ world right from the beginning which was Corona Del Mar, CA in the 50’s to his crazy years in San Francisco to his experiences and encounters in Japan to his (mis)adventure with Don Ed Hardy merchandise to his current life between San Fran and Hawaii.
It all started for him with a few tiny tattoos on his childhood friend’s father and the rest is history. He really did start as early as 10 years old even if his first tattoos were just temporary stuff painted on his friends’ skin. As he proudly admits, though, he and his friend Len always made sure that their ‘clients’ had their parents’ permission to get a ‘tattoo’ from them.
The street credit is never enough, so Hardy went to an art school to develop his skills and hone his talent. He’s honest enough to admit that he ‘didn’t have an original thought in his head about [painting]. I tended to imitate somebody that I admired. I’d done that all the way through. When I got into Goya, I did a self-portrait a la Goya. I wanted to be like these people. I wanted to mind-meld with them by looking at their work and imitating it.’ When he went to Japan (and his Japanese adventures are fascinating to read and again, he’s very honest as he discusses not only the good but also the bad about Japan for him), he discovered how codified and stiff rules of traditional Japanese tattooing actually were despite its wonderful colors and themes. But it took a creative genius of his to combine both so successfully and give us all a new quality to derive from.
Hardy is well aware of his tremendous influence on the tattoo world and mentions it a few times. He never really boasts, though; it’s more of stating the facts and he never forgets to acknowledge the people who came before him or lived along him and also managed to shape the tattoo scene. He’s proud but also humble and that’s a great combination.
It’s his book, of course, so he takes a central place here but he never misses an opportunity to mention and praise Sailor Jerry, Bert Grimm, other important Western tattooers or Japanese tattoo masters. Hardy knows the history, he knows that we wouldn’t be the subculture we are without our past and he appreciates it a lot. His short portraits of people are very to the point and show us the big industry names from a new perspective. It’s certainly a big history lesson when he discusses the old tattooists, the old school tattoos, the sailors and soldiers who were the primary recipients of tattoos back in the day and how they used to ‘sterilize’ the tattoo equipment decades ago. It makes you smile, ponder and cringe as you go on with reading and there’s not even one single boring page in this book!
When a few weeks ago I reviewed Kat Von D’s new book, I pointed out how obvious, repetitive and too personal at times it was for me. Hardy managed to do something entirely opposite even though he also wrote about his life, achievements and dreams. And even though he broaches the subject of his private life now and then, he never crosses the line of TMI and remains discreet – we know he was married twice, he got divorced, his has a son who’s also a tattoo artist but there’s no unnecessary drama and too personal details uncovered for all.
He ends his book on a positive note. He knows tattoos are important to him but he also senses that tattoos are important to all of us, otherwise why we would either love or hate them but never be indifferent toward them? As classic as he is, he also remains an ordinary human who knows that tattoos don’t really have to be very meaningful (he’s not a Miami Ink kind of guy, eh? ;)). And, more importantly, the book of his life is not really finished yet and, deep within, he still is a kid eager to do art and live his life to the fullest.
Don Ed Hardy, Wear Your Dreams. My Life in Tattoos, Thomas Dunne Books 2013
Ground-breaking news from Austria on popularity of tattoos in this country. Meanwhile, in Arkansas, there are attempts to ban non-traditional forms of body modification (‘non-traditional’ being an interesting statement here).
No running this week for me but it was very cool to get to see and go through this great slide show of running tattoos on one of my fav websites (obviously I don’t frequent it often enough, though – maybe I should have submitted a pic of my calf tattoo, too? ;))
Don Ed Hardy has just published a book called ‘Wear Your Dreams. My Life in Tattoos.’ The Kindle sample I went through seems very promising; besides, it’s Don Ed Hardy, right?
Entertainment-wise: sideshow revival in New Jersey.
From Poland a text about a tiny, local shop in a town you’ve prolly never heard of and a short text briefing us on subjects covered by exorcists on their recent convention, a.o. tattoos and body piercing!
From Canada an article about more women in the predominantly male tattoo industry. It’s certainly nothing new and in this case I must agree with Kat Von D’s statement in this one where she discusses her new book (I’m in the middle of reading it but it may take a while – interesting intertwines with pretentious here).
Modified charity in ‘tattoos for a cause.’
News from Poland: ‘tattoo jam in Radom’ and an interview with a young (and hopefully promising) tattoo artist. On a side note, I do cringe when they use the word ‘tatuażysta’ (=tattooist) to describe a tattoo artist/ tattooer; it’s kind of degrading and lands this profession straight in the stylists/ celebs realm.
An interesting submission from Bastian – hooks, of course
‘body art stereotypes misrepresent tattoo and body piercing culture’ – definitely much food for thought!
For once tattoos and other forms of body modification are handy à AZ-based restaurant wants to hire modified people.
Tattoos and skin cancer! Funny, how they phrase the headlines to catch our attention!
Another ‘American Mary’ review. I didn’t manage to watch the whole movie; maybe one of these days, though!
Mum tattoos here!
Since I seem to be getting into ‘the Biggest Looser’ show, let me show you a guy who looks absolutely awesome – he’s damn fit, wonderfully buff and he’s heavily tattooed at that! Bob Harper, one of the trainers on the show!
A shift in perceiving tattoos in these texts: ‘tattoos: skin deep’ (tattoos in Pakistan), Chavez tattoos in Venezuela, tattoos and fashion at a convention in Argentina and ’10 years of tattooing in West Hollywood’ (a brief comparison of European and American tattooing included).
The Huffington Post delivers yet another story focused on tattoos and this time it’s trying to convince us that ‘tattoos and botox have more in common than [we] think.’ I guess they’re right, at least to a degree, and it reminded me of the Modify movie where of all extreme body mod procedures it was liposuction that made me cringe! It’s all in the eye of beholder, no?
A book on Black Flag tattoos! I’m actually sure it makes for an interesting read – if you come across something that makes you really passionate about it, you should treasure it! Having said that, I doubt I’ll ever get a tattoo devoted to Skinny Puppy
Finally, two very interesting pieces focused on some history of tattooing: an interesting exhibition in Canada (Tattoos and Scrimshaw: Art of the Sailor) and a text focused on tattoos as a form of corporal punishment in Japan centuries ago.
Valentine’s Day’s over (and I’m still shocked with the news about Oscar Pistorius who always seemed a cool runner to me!) and there were, of course, some V-Day-related articles: Love ink. There’s also this interesting piece of news about the sudden love and lightning quick facial tattoo – most opinions on the subject are quite negative. Shannon Larratt approached it from a different angle but he also tried to show both sides of it. Ellen DeGeneres focused on misspelled tattoos (and such tattoos are usually dedicated to those dear to us) although some of these are kind of unbelievable!
An interesting take on scars (although not the ones related to scarification) here!
Body suspension: the title, ‘Suspensions: taking piercings to the extreme’ says it all!
Something in German: according to a survey, most young people find tattoos attractive.
A classic book on women and tattoos, ‘Bodies of Subversion,’ is now updated and out! Also about women and tattoos are these articles: all-female tattoo shop in CT, tattoos over 50 – awesome or awful?, do tattooed women surprise anymore? (in Polish).
Body modification and being a donor: ‘tattoos and piercings may to blame for fall in young blood donors’ from the UK and a Polish one about tattoos and being a marrow donor. Also, ‘vaccine tattoos‘?
A really cool term and an interesting thing to do: tattourism!
A real treat for body suspension lovers: the Sinner Team and their free fall suspensions!
One of these good newsfeed days when more than just a few links proved to be interesting!
Let’s start with some history: ‘a secret story of women and tattoos’ focuses on such women as Nora Hilderbrandt, Betty Broadbent and others. From Germany an interview with an iconic figure of the tattoo scene, Henk schiffmacher.
Definitely interesting: ‘sociologists find similarities in meanings behind protestant work ethics and modern religious tattoos’!
A book focused on Stockholm straight from the Millennium Trilogy (with tattoo parlors covered, too).
And finally an interesting interview with the actress playing the main character in ‘American Mary’ (should I watch this movie???) where she states an interesting thing: The body modification people in this film are the most normal, well-adjusted, happy people, whereas the other people who are socially accepted and are idolised like doctors, surgeons, they’re the most fucked up.