Croc Coulter works with an apprentice to revive the lost art of tātatau, traditional tattooing done with sticks and bone. So that's how they made such straight lines in geometric tattoos! Read the rest
My skin doesn’t have a single tattoo, but I am touched by the art in tattoos, particularly traditional ones. The Japanese have a long and deep affinity for skin paintings, and have devised a complex iconography for them. The Japanese were early to pioneer color in tattoos, and gave high regard for the full body tattoo, treating the whole torso as a canvas. They even went recursive, sometimes inking a large character that sported a full-body tattoo within the tattoo. This book is chock full of classic themes, characters, and designs, with plenty of notes on the historical significance of tattoo culture. Of course it’s great inspiration for modern tattoos, but also for any other visual art.
Japanese Tattoos: History, Culture, Design by Brian Ashcraft and Hori Benny Tuttle Publishing 2016, 160 pages, 7.5 x 10 x 0.7 inches (softcover) $11 Buy a copy on Amazon
An Unreliable History of Tattoos by Paul Thomas Nobrow Press 2016, 96 pages, 7.9 x 10.6 x 0.7 inches (hardcover) $3 Buy a copy on Amazon
A minor celebrity/reality star, whose name I can’t remember, said in a recent interview that she thinks of people without tattoos as being “unicorns” because they are so rare. It’s true that today tattoos are much more popular than when I was a kid. In my day, only sailors or criminals had dye permanently etched into their bodies, but according to the graphic novel, An Unreliable History of Tattoos, inking people has been around since Day 1 (think Adam and Eve).
In his first book, award-winning British political cartoonist Paul Thomas loosely traces the origins of body art. There’s definitely a focus on European (and specifically British) history in this book, but Thomas also pokes fun at a few famous Americans. Mixing fiction with facts, (honestly sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s made up) this book is interesting, humorous, and very unusual!
I don’t know if the Upper Paleolithic man really punctured his skin with blunt twigs, nor do I know if King Harold II had his wife Edith’s name tattooed on his chest way back in 1066. Should I believe Anne Boleyn’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth, had her knuckles tattooed? Was Kings Charles II’s chest covered in permanent ink with names of all his many bedroom conquests? According to this parody, Queen Victoria, Sir Winston Churchill, and even President Obama love body art too. Read the rest
Dave Maass from EFF says, "Right now, NIST researchers are working with the FBI to develop tattoo recognition technology that police can use to learn as much as possible about people through their tattoos. But an EFF investigation has found that these experiments exploit inmates, with little regard for the research's implications for privacy, free expression, religious freedom, and the right to associate. And so far, researchers have avoided ethical oversight while doing it." Read the rest
Solid Oak Sketches has filed copyright registrations in the tattoo designs that decorate the bodies of some of basketball's biggest stars (LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kenyon Martin, DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe, etc), and has sued Take-Two Software, maker of NBA 2K16 and other basketball video games, for reproducing tattoos as part of the likenesses of the players. Read the rest
Michael Baxter, 52, holds the Guinness World Record for the "most tattoos of characters from a single animated series." Jade Baxter Smith of Twisted By Design in Victoria, Australia did the ink.
"I wanted to get something which was unique, which nobody else had or would even think of getting...," Baxter says. "I'm a huge fan of the show. I love the tattoo, and I know lots of other people, including my grandchildren, do too.”
Interestingly, the Guinness World Record for "most tattoos of the same cartoon character tattooed on the body" was set by another Simpsons fan, Lee Weir, 27, of New Zealand. He has 41 tattoos of Homer on his arm, seen below.
A Federal Circuit Court judge in Sydney, Australia granted an injunction forbidding a 20-year-old woman from breastfeeding her son because she got a tattoo. He said she may have picked up a blood-borne disease when she got the tattoo and could infect her baby through her mother's milk. The mother had negative results on hepatitis and HIV tests, but the judge said the tests were not conclusive.
Dr Karleen Gribble, a breastfeeding advocate from the University of Western Sydney] said she had never seen a case like this before. "I'm only aware of one case where somebody contracted HIV from tattooing and that was somebody who'd got a tattoo in Bali, not somebody who'd gotten it in Australia," she said. "I think when it comes to mothers and breastfeeding, we need to consider that mothers are people, they do things. Sometimes there's a risk associated with what they do, but we generally think that they don't need to protect their children from all risk and it [comes down to] considering, is this a reasonable risk? Most people consider that the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis from using a tattoo parlour, and particularly if they've been careful about checking it out, is infinitesimally small."
The mother appealed the judge's ruling and a Family Court overturned it.