Sunday, April 15, 2007

As promised, here are a few shots of recent work. The first three are after my 3/11/7 session and the second set are after my 4/1/7 session. I've gone again since then and will post more pics soon.

I recently read an article on tattoos in Contexts magazine, a publication of the American Sociological Association. The article, titled "Why Do People Get Tattoos" was written by Miliann Kang and Katherine Jones at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. As the title suggests, the authors discuss the myriad motivations people give for wearing tattoos, especially among women. They also devote some time to discussion of tattoo subcultures (so called "modern primitives" and "tattoo enthusiasts") and the limitations of using tattoos to communicate messages due to cultural stigmas attached to tattoos. The tone of the article is captured best in the following quote:

"While these individuals give varied and multilayered meanings to their own and other's tattoos, their personal assertations are sometimes at odds with the pervasive popular interpretations of tattoos as signs of rebellion or faddishness."

I agree. If your tattoo is a means of communicating a message, it probably won't be very effective since most people already have such strong preconceptions about tattoos.
Some recommended reading cited in the article:

"Tattooed: The Sociogenesis of a Body Art" by Michael Atkinson
"Revolting Bodies: The Monster Beauty of Tattooed Women" by Christine Braunberger
"Bodies of Inscription: A Cultural History of the Modern tattoo Community" by Margo DeMello
"Tattoo Narratives: The Intersection of the Body, Self-Identity and Society" by Mary Kosut
"Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoos" by Margot Mifflin


Anonymous said...

Great work and a lot of courage to convert yourself and your body to real art, you must have e great commitment to go this way! I questioning myself how it will be to have a 'coming out'.

Mike said...

Thanks for the comment. Interesting that you mention "self" and "body" separately...

Anonymous said...

yes it is true, I think changing your body to art is one thing even though it is intendend by yourself - it is first of all your outside - but converting yourself fully as an individuum must be a great step. From my perspective an alignment of yourself again with your new 'ouside' must be a process and will definitly take time. hardy

Anonymous said...

hey man, the works looking great! I only have one tattoo. It's a work in progress, being done by Horishun of Tattoo Soul in Ikebukuro, Japan. I was referred to him by Shinji as they both studied under Horitoshi I. I have a 5/10 sleeve with a chest panel of a koi. Good luck man! Can't wait for more updates. If you're interested, pics of the work so far can be seen on my MySpace: Later

Anonymous said...

Mike. Where did you find? Mary Kosut's Tattoo Narratives: The Intersection of the Body,
Self-Identity and Society I can't find it anywhere?