"A grand tour of the world's great tattoos"—Atlas Obscura
"This book—part global art historical tome, part coffee-table book of visual wonders—is a valuable corrective to many silly things that we assume about tattooing."—The New Republic
A lavishly illustrated global exploration of the vast array of styles and most significant practitioners of tattoo from ancient times to today
Tattoo art and practice has seen radical changes in the 21st century, as its popularity has exploded. An expanding number of tattoo artists have been mining the past for lost traditions and innovating with new technology. An enormous diversity of styles, genres, and techniques has emerged, ranging from geometric blackwork to vibrant, painterly styles, and from hand-tattooed works to machine-produced designs.
With over 700 stunning color illustrations, this volume considers historical and contemporary tattoo practices in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. Each section, dedicated to a specific geographic region, features fascinating text by tattoo experts that explores the history and traditions native to that area as well as current styles and trends. The World Atlas of Tattoo also tracks the movement of styles from their indigenous settings to diasporic communities, where they have often been transformed into creative, multicultural, hybrid designs. The work of 100 notable artists from around the globe is showcased in this definitive reference on a widespread and intriguing art practice.
About the Author
Anna Felicity Friedman is an interdisciplinary scholar and curator, whose social media platforms include tattoohistorian.com. James Elkins is E. C. Chadbourne Chair of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.