Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Booknote: Generation Ink

Nathan, Paul, Generation Ink: Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Brooklyn (NY): Pelluceo, 2012.

ISBN: 9780985136802

Genre: Art and photography
Subgenre: Tattoo art

My only quibble with the book is that not a single model is over 40. The oldest, if I recall, was an artist at 38. The majority are very late teens (19 or so) to twenty-somethings. A few thirty-somethings. I suppose it is reflective of the Williamsburg community where the models come from. Nothing wrong with young models, but I am sure there are some older folks in the area with some ink worth showing. Putting that aside, this is a very good book.

The book brings together a series of black and white photographs of men and women displaying their tattoo work. They were asked some simple questions such as how much have they spent getting the tattoos and significance of some of the works. The answers are interesting and vary. Some have spent thousands of dollars, and  others have bartered their way to get them, whether because they worked at at tattoo shop themselves or in some cases dated a tattoo artist. The stories they tell are varied and interesting as well. Many of the models provided quotes, which in the book are written out in the middle of a blank page next to the photo in nice cursive script, which adds to the artistic element of the book. The art overall is beautiful. One has to note it is not always finished; the models' ink is often in various states of completion, and that is part of their journey.

I think anyone who has gotten a tattoo or two or a few will enjoy this book. For those of us not inked, if you enjoy good art and reading stories about people, then this is a book you may enjoy as well.

I will give a small warning for some readers that there is some nudity, overall tastefully done. This is certainly a book I recommend.

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