Planet Ink: The Art and Studios of the World's Top Tattoo Artists

Planet Ink: The Art and Studios of the World's Top Tattoo Artists

Dale Rio

Language: English

Pages: 160

ISBN: 0760342296

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


For thousands of years, people have engaged in ritualistic marking of the skin to identify themselves as a member of a tribe, of a lineage, of a mindset, or of a subculture. The ancient art of tattooing is a tradition we carry on to this day. While the past 10 years have seen no shortage of books about tattoos and tattooing, most are best described as “idea books.” Until now, none have profiled the world’s most renowned artists across a variety of styles. This book explores this most basic form of self-expression by showcasing the studios and work of 18 of the world’s top tattoo artists, including Sulu’ape Angela (San Diego), Aaron Bell (Seattle), Bugs (Los Angeles), Mo Cappoletta (London), Madame Chan (Brussels), Daniel DiMattia (Liege), Durga (Jakarta), Gakkin (Kyoto), Horiryu (Costa Mesa), Henning Jorgensen (Copenhagen), Rory Keating (San Diego), Brent McCowan (Carinthia), Maneko (Brasilia), Keone Nunes (Oahu), Noon (New York/London/Berlin), Sua Sulu’ape Petelo (Sydney), Te Rangitu (Waipapa), and Simon & Eddie (Hartama). Each chapter profiles the artist in the context of where he or she fits into the overall tradition of tattooing, while the photos showcase not only the art but also the artists and their workspaces.


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attending a church sermon with a friend and watching in horror as families involved in the Christian Right movement frenziedly burned rock ’n’ roll albums, Aaron viewed religion as a tool with which the prevailing powers could propagandize and keep the masses docile. This experience had a profound effect on a young Aaron, creating a flashbulb memory that fed both his budding antiestablishment attitude and his interest in music, particularly punk rock. In the punk movement, Aaron found that the

Blind Hatred (which had a broken cross as a logo), and started painting his friends’ leather jackets, drawing flyers for shows, and eventually tattooing his fellow punks. A crude setup—which Aaron jokes caused blunt trauma and scarring to his friends and consisted of a Walkman motor, a guitar string, and a Bic pen—was the unconscious start to what was to become a lifelong passion. Unfortunately, Aaron was too caught up in his rebellious lifestyle at the time to recognize tattooing as a possible

hand-poked tattoos for several years. At the time, tattooing wasn’t very developed in France, and information wasn’t exactly forthcoming. Tattooist hopefuls couldn’t simply Google “tattoo supplies” and order their gear on the Internet. It took a combination of luck, good timing, and knowing the right people. Fortunately, Noon had all three. He met someone who passed along the addresses of Mickey Sharpz and Spaulding and Rogers, and Noon made the transition from hand poking his customers to doing

imagined in his younger years. But with success comes responsibility, and Aaron began to feel the pressure of having to live up to others’ expectations. His response to that inner challenge was to forge ahead and continue to develop both his craft and his philosophy. Aaron has found that because tattooing in Western society has evolved as a countercultural practice, many customers enter his shop seeking out alternative thinkers, or what he calls “rebels against consensus reality.” Some even

friends started coming to him for blackwork. Daniel felt enough confidence in his technical abilities to delve into the style, and, in fact, found that it intrigued him. He felt challenged to personalize it and bring a new dimension to it. Becoming a tattooist in Belgium during the 1980s was no small task. “You had to put yourself out there and pretty much do everything by yourself,” Daniel recalls. Daniel DiMattia 49 As unique expressions, each of Daniel’s pieces demands a great deal of

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