Tattoo You: A New Generation of Artists

Phaidon. Apr. 2024. 312p. ISBN 9781838667566. $59.95. DEC ARTS
Tattoo enthusiasts will be captivated by the beauty and variety of today’s tattoo community, showcased in this survey of 75 contemporary tattoo artists. In her opening essay, Alice Snape eloquently captures the cultural and personal importance of tattoos, which “can literally transform how people feel about themselves while simultaneously altering the society in which those people exist.” The featured tattoo artists, all relatively new to the craft, were nominated by an international group of experts and embody innovation and inclusiveness while honoring tradition. Many of the artists are women, transgender, and/or nonbinary and are from historically underrepresented communities. Each artist is profiled in a short essay, which highlights their career and approach to tattooing, with examples of their work presented in three pages of photographs. A wide array of styles is covered, including Black Symmetry’s full-body blackwork designs, Jade F. Clark’s American traditional style, and the simple cartoonish work by Nolsey. Several artists use traditional and Indigenous practices such as hand-poking and skin-marking, speaking to the importance of keeping those art forms accessible.
VERDICT A beautiful, informative book, perfect for art collections, and an excellent starting resource to learn about the range of contemporary tattoo art.
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