book review: body art

 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!


extreme and traditional mod(e)s

I think I’ll just overlook this whole Kat-Von-D-and-her-new-tattoo affair, especially that there are some more interesting things related to body modification:

Extreme body modification: a beautiful controversy’ discusses what it promises although not really in depth; Steve Truitt is mentioned/ quoted in this one, though.

Tradition respected both in the industry and in academia: an Indonesian tattoo artist into traditional tattoo art and ‘university opening its door to Samoa tattoo.’

Tattoos on models’ is a pretty nice slide show proving how mainstream tattoos are now.

An interesting one from theUK: a woman who got into tattoos after getting divorced from her husband.

bizarre trends?

An article about corset piercings in an UK online newspaper caused quite an uproar online and here is a reply to it in the Huffington Post and a Dutch version of the said article without any critical approach to it.

We’ve seen it coming and here it is: 12 celebrity tattoo artists with some great work to show off and justify and their high status.

It’s the Mother’s Day time in the US, so – of course – some articles on the subject were bound to appear: ‘inked for Mom – a brief history of the ‘I love Mom’ tattoos’ and people’s tribute tattoos from Detroit, MI.

An interesting article about tribal marks and rising popularity of tattoos inNigeria.

Miscellaneous: Horiyoshi gets into clothing lines? A really interesting concept for a tattoo (3D augmented reality card) and colonic tattoos used in medicine.

good and interesting news

Several interesting ones so far:

Good news from Poznan, Poland, where tattoo artists from my regular tattoo shop won quite a few awards at a local tattoo convention (here’s another video from the event).

A ‘gem’ about scarification and other, more ‘extreme’ forms of body modification: ‘technique goes beyond tattoos.’

High-brow stuff: Ed Hardy as a lecturer at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and an interesting article about a new book on literary tattoos, ‘word made flesh.’ My pre-ordered copy of it got shipped yout yesterday.

An interesting one from Bastian: an article about the German healthcare reform which has something to do with body modification. And from the US an article about ‘dermatologists’ experiences with tattoos.’

Tattoo scene and charity in ‘tatts for cats.’

Ads: ‘plummeting value of flesh-based ads’ and a *turned-into-tattoos*  mascot from India (images of the mascot here).

Celeb glitter: ‘Kelly Osbourne removes her tattoos,’ ‘the worst tattoos on celebs‘ and ‘female celeb piercings.’ On the other side of the spectrum, a short but quite interesting article about trends and their backgrounds (courtesy of Bastian!).

making the cut or not

The past Friday was quite important to all who are either superstitious or horror fans or tattoo artists as, quite traditionally by now, many of them had ‘Friday the 13th tattoo’ action going on in their shops, here a few examples.

A week ago there was another tattoo convention in Poland (not an unusual event in this country these days); here’s a short article about it. Sadly, it lacks information on the convention itself and instead goes the sensational route and focuses on the freaky side of such events.

Local touch and some info on how to become a piercer in an interview with a Canadian piercer from Fredericton, NB. And since taking  a look at various shops around the world might be a good thing to do, here’s a link to the shop in question!

Beyond tattoos, piercings: the art of scarification makes the cut’ is a rare example of article focused on a more extreme form of body modification (link to the shop here). There were quite a few attempts to make scarification appear more and more popular in the past but somehow it always ends not to be true.

Quite an interesting piece of news from Scotland: ‘jail chiefs to consider setting up professional tattoo parlors in prisons’ (comments are worth reading, too).

Are tattoos at work really that acceptable?’ poses a good question (especially in the light of the recent articles I posted on here about tattooed/ pierced hotel staff and how they are perceived by customers and general public). And let’s juxtapose it with an article from OH that shows how an entertaining column focused on tattoos can get under fire from the readers only because its focus is tattoos.

in/directly related

An interesting read-up provided by two articles discussing ‘piercing through fetishes’ and ‘plastic surgery as a new religious rite of passage.’ And a real gem here, courtesy of Bastian: a slide show and text describing beginnings of plastic surgery.

One and only Lizardman featured in ‘Masterclash discussing bod mod.’

A feeling of amazement in ‘Calgarians pay to be scarred, left hanging’ about more extreme forms of body modifications (‘extreme’ being quite relative here, that is).

A new ‘invention’ trying to capitalize on popularity of tattoos: ‘hygienic wipe that keeps tattoos fresh and colorful.’

Weird and hipster tattoos’ as an eye treat.

catching up

A week without news-related updates does not mean I’m slacking; I’ve been busy with reading this ‘Electric Michelangelo’ novel, then reading another book about tattoos and watching ‘Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry’ DVD as I got it in the mail on Thursday and it worked on my DVD player despite this damn region 1 restriction. On to the news, though:

Tattoos of the future? ‘blood-powered digital tattoos’ sound interesting!

 Young Germans and meanings behind their tattoos.

 But at the same time … ‘Tattoo trade is the Wild West’ with few rules;’ which might be true a degree as this opinion appears over and over in articles not only from the US. After all it’s so easy to get a tattoo kit, even if you’re only a beginner.

 Tattoos for good causes: ‘ex-soldier gets tattoos of dead’ to support ‘Help for Heroes’ charity in the UK, also from the UK is the one about a 60-yr-old woman whose first tattoo raised £ 1600 to support people suffering from cancer and an American press note about ‘Get Ink for Autism benefit.’

 Religion: ‘faiths debate whether tattoos are appropriate’ and ‘modernity casts spell over magic tattoos in Cambodia.’

 Old negativeness around tattoos in short articles from Inverness: ‘Club tattoo ban threat to war heroes’ and ‘Club war breaks out over tattoo ban’ (the first article on the subject in this post of mine).

 Lack of health regulations and more extreme body modifcations in “hooked on pain’ (and yes, this one is about suspension!) and ‘body art that’s on the cutting edge.’

 Don Ed Hardy and his overcommercialized by now tattoo art in ‘WTF? Ed Hardy water’ (thanks to Bastian for this one!) and ‘Ed Hardy’s tattoo art is booty for digital pirates.’

getting ready for Halloween

Marisa Kakoulas of needlesandsins in an interview and a short post about Halloween customs exploiting tattoo culture; and just to confirm this point two other articles on the subject: ‘temporary Halloween tattoos’ and ‘glitter temporary tattoos to advertise a business.’

 Another big figure in the tattoo world, this time from Germany: Herbert Hoffmann in an article describing his life and tattoos.

 The article about Coptic tattoos was linked to in the last post; here’s another one on the subject: ‘missing the point of Coptic tattoos.’

 It’s quite unusual to see a shop advertising more extreme procedures: ‘branding, tongue splitting services coming to North Devon.’

Indirectly related: ‘the agony of body artist’ about ‘high art’ using body as a medium; a short story by Kafka, the Hunger Artist, is linked to it, so make sure to check it out, too, if you click on the article.

 ‘Popeye arm’ to end today’s post – human body really is amazing.

actions, bodies and semicolons

A few articles more on ‘save girl child tattoos’ in India. Also from India is an article about a boom for ‘traditional’ body piercings in an Indian city called Chennai.

Another activist is from Australia: ‘Mum fights to change piercing law.’

Also law-related is an article from CA: ‘with body art, safety is a must’ (and again ‘standard lobe piercing’ done by unhygienic guns in unsterile conditions are exempted!).

Fashion and body modification again in ‘pierced fashion models.’

A new addition to ‘indirectly related’: ‘bodies of Lara Croft and Rubi Malone.’

Tattoo industry in identity crisis? A few good questions raised in this one.

And a couple of quite interesting links: ‘black Mount Rushmore,’ ’15 punctuation tattoos,’ ‘name tattoos’ from a little rougher perspective.