The book draws body mod enthusiasts ‘attention with the cover on which Kat Von D is half-smiling, put right next to smaller images of such ‘scene’ icons as The
Enigma, The Katzen, Samppa Von Cyborg and Bear Big Ears. If the cover promises
interesting contents, later on the book definitely fulfills this promise.
Of course, there are more and more books on body modification, mainly tattoos, and some of them just exploit the popularity of the ‘scene’ and don’t present anything new. If you look at the contents of this book, you could say the same thing but what
makes a huge difference here is that ‘Body Art’ discusses various forms of body
modification in details and offers many great pictures of the procedures and
modifications (Shannon Larratt is listed as a contributor for ‘Body Art’ and
those of us who had been reading his Modblog back in the old days can easily
recognize many pictures).
The book covers á brief history of body art’(some interesting images of tribal scars and … foot binding which isn’t that common in books on the subject), ‘getting
inked’(advice for those eager to get tattooed), information and pictures
focused on implants, ‘scarred for life’ discussing the painful art of scarification,
corset piercings filed under ‘sexy back,’ ‘feel the burn’ shedding some light
on branding, the art of ear stretching, a chapter on ‘functional implants’ and
finally a chapter discussing the UV ink tattooing. After each chapter you can
browse through tiny images and short info on various types of tattoos
(bio-mech, old school, symbolic etc.). A reader should be careful, though – the
book contains both basic information and decent images of various forms of body
modification but it doesn’t cover aftercare and possible risks, so you better
not try it at home!
I must say that I really enjoyed reading this one! The chapters are nicely written,
practitioners chosen for interviews and advice reputable and knowledgeable,
interviews with ‘big names’ bring something new about them instead of repeating
the things I’d read somewhere else and, above all, the content is more
interesting and broader than most other books on the subject. I’m quite looking
forward to reading ‘Body Art 2’ now!
Body Art, Titan Books 2011
Edit: posting from my red laptop, so some problems with layout might happen!