This Is a Book for People Who Love Tattoos

Running Pr. (This Is A Book For?). May 2024. 120p. ISBN 9780762485956. $17. ARTS
Whether readers are heavily inked, tattoo-curious, or somewhere in between, they’re bound to learn something from Hutter’s debut. Hutter illustrates the expansive and intersecting histories of tattoo styles in a way that recognizes social, cultural, and historical differences while foregrounding how tattoo artists “are part of a long tradition of misfits, craftspeople, storytellers, artists, and visionaries.” She demonstrates how body art has become a powerful tool for self-expression, disrupting boundaries of race, gender, sexuality, age, class, profession, socioeconomic status, and more. Informational and practical in her overview of different tattooing techniques, Hutter also inks in her own theoretical acumen, drawing attention to the what and how of tattooing and also the why, as it intersects with various sociocultural factors. She explores archetypal tattoos to teach readers their history while giving suggestions about how to combine, personalize, and tailor these well-worn designs to one’s own story.
VERDICT If readers are wondering why their cubicle mate chose a snake over a bird or how tattooing went from pirates to celebrities, this book will provide answers or at least encourage new ways of thinking about the stories people tell with their skin.
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