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Tattoos have gone from badges of rebellion to fashion statements fully absorbed into mainstream culture. They are enjoying a renaissance, with graphic designers and artists creating specialty tattoos for a growing audience, unleashing a revival of interest in the bawdy vintage tattoo. Old school tattoos are being rediscovered (sometimes ironically, sometimes not) by a new generation. Originally embraced by rebels, sailors, and gangsters, these tattoos—broken hearts, naked girls, floral motifs, and maritime emblems—are now showing up on the fashion runway and in music videos. This book chronicles vintage motifs in thematic chapters interspersed with profiles of influential tattoo artists and their distinctive designs: Sailor Jerry Collins, Don Ed Hardy ("the Godfather of Tattoos"), Mike "Rollo Banks" Malone, Bert Grimm, Japan’s Horiyoshi III, and Shanghai’s Pinky Yun.
About the Author
Carol Clerk is a veteran music writer and author who has written for a number of underground newspapers and ‘zines like the weekly Melody Maker.
“It seems like everyone and their mother has been inked. Carol Clerk’s new tome, Vintage Tattoos, The Book of Old-School Skin Art, tracks the evolution of old-school pin-up girl pieces…as well as classic floral, nautical, death memorials and heart designs.” ~Nylon Magazine
“We’ve read our fill about tattooed circus acts and indigenous people, but we’ll always make time for the scalawags who revolutionized tattoo art. The best chapters in Carol Clerk’s Vintage Tattoos: The Book of Old-School Skin Art detail the history of nautical and patriotic tattoos and their superstitions.” ~Inked Magazine
"The lavishly displayed wealth of brightly colored old-school flash is the heart of Vintage Tattoos, and the main reason you’ll find yourself flipping through it again and again. (Clerk's) ruminations on these designs and their cryptic meanings are enlightening." ~Playboy.com
"Vintage Tattoos is as much a tat history for tat lovers as it is for anyone into pop culture and art. Gems of tattoo lore transport us to the traveling circuses of the turn of the century (which kick-started America’s tattoo fascination) and hidden backroom parlors which popped up once state governments started banning tattooing in the 1960s. It’s a history lesson worth its ink." ~ModernTonic.com
"Vintage Tattoos...is 256 pages of art and anecdotes. Salty stories of tattoo times when shotguns, not art school degrees, hung on the walls behind the parlor counter. When tattooists traveled with the circus, not metal bands. And when the art went underground because of tattoo bans." ~Needled.com
"...an entertaining and informative title that should be in every tattoo enthusiast's book collection." ~Skin Art Magazine
“Somehow quaint and sexy at once, this opus of the epidermis will stimulate smiles, winces, and perhaps more.” ~Passport Magazine