mummies, show, scars

Spain seems to be getting more and more excited about the upcoming tattoo convention in Barcelona (next week!) ; another event seems even more exciting, though – First Singapore Tattoo Show is planned for January 2009.

According to this Indian article, tattoos are not enough anymore and more and more people switch to more extreme forms of body art ‘to make a statement’. Scarification and branding seldom are discussed online and that’s a shame!

A mix of history and anthropology in an interview briefly discussing mummies from Thule. More information can be found on here.

events, celebs and other news

Another article about Wim Delvoye and his art in the context of his exhibit in Moscow, Russia. A few other events for a good measure – Body Art Expo in LA, more about ‘Tattoonesia 2008’ and a short article in Dutch about a tattoo convention in Assen.

Celeb glitter: Ed Hardy clothing line and David Beckham’s tattoos in a calendar for 2009.

Not that positive sides of being ‘modified’ – an update about LA firefighters and the tattoo policy they have to tackle and another piece of bad news from Israel – this time a 14-yr-old and nipple piercing.

In other news, an article about a Toronto based Imperial Tattoo shop and a short history of PA.

Big thanks to Bastian for sending me a link to this German article about Body Integrity Identity Disorder. Shannon Larratt published a few interesting interviews with voluntary amputees and they are certainly worth reading.

it’s (not) just a business …

For some people body art is passion, for others it may be both a passion and a business: ‘wearable art’ (which means t-shirts/ clothing with tattoo designs), website combined with a recently open tattoo shop and pregnant belly tattoos. Another interesting article in this vein discusses a marketing program for tattoo business owners.

Bad news – a death caused by a tongue piercing (in Dutch).

Something interesting from the Philippines: Dutdutan Festival with some insight into a local ‘scene’. This short article was, for some reason, categorized as ‘weird news’.

A piercing ‘aficionado’ both writes about and shows her own piercing adventures in KS.

omnipresent tattoos

A small coverage of the events in OH and CO and a German article about a Chinese female tattoo artist expected at this year’s Berlin Tattoo Convention.

Back in July New York Times published an article about Jews and tattoos; the topic surfaced up again – ‘Marks of Faith’ and ‘Mark her words’.

An interesting approach toward tattoos and local economy: too many tattoos. seldom gets headlines featuring tattoos but it happened today – tattoos and baseball game(s). Another, more detailed article can be found here.

Personal touch behind tattoos – three people and stories behind their body art.

An insight into the world of fetish.


A short overview of the history of body piercing and two articles about a decline of tramp stamp tattoos, both in English and in German.

Moko tattoo artists with a mission at the London Tattoo Convention.

CT: Norwalk to inspect city’s tattoo parlors.

Dress code: policemen and their tattoos again and ‘skin in the employment game’.

‘Interesting news’: ‘John McCaine’s daughter addicted to tattoos’.

Finally, something ‘highbrow’ again: a link to a German article about Herman Nitsch and his museum (sent in by a friend) and an interview with David Cronenberg who briefly discusses his view on human bodies.

(un)popular tattoos

The most popular topic now seems to be Marines and their new tattoo policy – the titles speak for themselves: ‘Marines – no sleeve tattoos for guards, recruiters‘; ‘Marine general expands tattoo ban‘; ‘Inked no longer‘.

In the light of the recent interest in tattoos expressed by Real Madrid (too European to appear in American news?) here’s an article about a German football player and his tattoo (comments by fellow players and coach included).

Quite nice to know that at any given time there’s at least one tattoo convention somewhere in the world; here’s articles about the upcoming Denver Tattoo convention and some coverage of the Real Deal and Jacksonville conventions; link to ‘family photos’ from the Boston Tattoo Convention on this page can make smile pretty much everyone.

Celebs and their tattoos are not my favorite topic but this one is interesting – Angelina Jolie’s metamorphosis.

Finally, another one showing members of the industry in positive light: 15 hours of tattoos for $15 to help sick kids from AZ.

events, trend, addiction

The weekend was quiet news-wise, so here a couple of these somewhat interesting ones:

Events: coverage from Boston Tattoo Convention and Big Daddy’s Tattoo and Bike Expo in OH. An upcoming event in Europe (this one’s in Dutch – it’s been a while again).

Allegedly the latest trend among the celebs – white tattoos.

Up to us to decide but for now – ‘you’re gonna have to face it … you’re addicted to tats’.

ban(s), ball, book

Vox populi on Real Madrid vs. tattoos.

Two German articles discussing whether tattoos and body piercing are here to stay or not. The subject of these articles isn’t new but, at least, it’s always new shops and different artists.

More on ‘trends’: the most popular military tattoos.

Law-related: in Australia ‘MPs look at nipple piercing ban for under 18s’; in GA ‘regulations coming to body art business’.

Events: first coverage of Boston Tattoo Convention and an article about upcoming Bizarre Ball.

When I got to read the ‘Body Piercing Saved My Life’ book, I was disappointed because there was close to nothing about body modification in there; the article ‘The Fisrt Lutheran Church of Punk’ is about the same.

Finally a book: official release of the Tattoo Sourcebook is going to happen soon.

subjective review of the Modcon book

Since this blog is about everything that’s mod-related and I get to read about, I’ve decided to play with reviewing books on the subject I got to read and found interesting. Coincidentally, I can start with a book that, for me, started it all, so here’s the first, purely subjective, book review:

When in spring 2003 I got to read Modcon by Shannon Larratt for the first time, my initial reaction was horror, soon to be changed into fascination. Coming from a pretty strict Catholic background, with all its lovely consequences, I simply was not prepared for feelings, desires and experiences described in this book.

My copy was a softcover of quite a big format and rather pale pictures that showed all the graphic details nevertheless. Pictures illustrating the procedures described were very intense and they shook me quite hard but it was Shannon Larratt’s writing that made even stronger, and yet very different, impression on me. He was both inquisitive and subtle, revealing and yet leaving a huge margin of personal space of his interlocutors untouched. Shock value aside, he was able to keep their dignity unscathed and even though shocked with the images I was, the words “freak” or “sick” never crossed my mind while reading the book.

Back then I was making my first steps into the realm of body modification, even this mainstream kind, let alone the extreme one, so Modcon served me also as a kind of “who’s who” book on the subject. Such names as Jesse Jarrell (about whose work I would love to learn more even now), Steve Haworth or Blair were still unknown to me at the time and, just like many more times in the future, Shannon’s work helped me see and learn more on the subject.

The ‘old’ Modcon book was not only about extreme male genital work and a few pictures and short notes about ‘famous’ practitioners but it was also a gallery of other people – less known body modification artists, heavily modified people, amputees and thoughts behind their choices. An interesting, even if often scary, journey into all these people’s minds and an opportunity to trace their thoughts and feelings etched onto their bodies.

It was the first book on body modification I got to read and at the time I was not aware that soon this subject would become one of my own main interests and pursuits. A few years later, after many hours of tattooing and with scarifications, large gauge dermal punching and suspending under my belt, I consider it a nice coincidence that the Modcon book is was available again, in a new, improved in my humble opinion, format.

The contents did not change much but a new preface and a biographical note reflect the changes that happened over time. It is a strange feeling to browse through the book after a few years and all the changes the body modification industry had undergone. Certainly it is a totally different, who knows if for better?, industry than even only a few years ago and yet Shannon Larratt’s book is still valid and fascinating to read. Even if the feelings and thoughts of the people portrayed in the book changed over time, it is still a valuable document of people and their body modifications and times.

The format of the book is different and much better at that – a smaller, more compact book with brighter and more vivid pictures, Shannon’s reflections on the change of times and people and our own awareness of the passage of time make it even more interesting to read than a few years ago when everything was very new to me.

The writing still holds strong and, after having read so many articles published on the subject of body modifications and possible reasons behind them, it still remains respectful to the people who decided to tell Shannon (and, consequently, us) about their experiences with the whole emotional ballast that goes with them which really is important, especially now when the modified are so often accused of wanting to shock others, being reckless and irresponsible or just of following the celebs’ example. Shannon’s interlocutors were usually those who preferred to keep their modifications private and personal, who went for them after having put much thought into their decisions and who accepted how life-changing and lasting their modifications actually are.

The book may remain more or less the same and yet it reads quite different now; it certainly did not lose any of its strange and fascinating appeal and it gained even more of historical value. On a very personal, subjective level it also shows me how much my own approach to body modification had changed.