Tattoos as art, work, decoration and defiance
Customizing the Body
The Art and Culture of Tattooing
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Revised and Expanded Edition
Clinton R. Sanders with D. Angus Vail
Originally published in 1989, this ground-breaking ethnographic exploration of tattooing—and the art world surrounding it—covers the history, anthropology and sociology of body modification practices; the occupational experience of the tattooist; the process and social consequences of becoming a tattooed person; and the prospects of "serious" tattooing becoming an accepted art form. Curiously, despite the greater prevalence of tattoos and body modification in today’s society, there is still a stigma of deviance associated with people who get or ink tattoos.
Retaining the core of the original book, this revised and expanded edition offers a new preface by the author and a new chapter focusing on the changes that have occurred in the tattoo world. A section on the new scholarly literature that has emerged, as well as the new modes of body modification that have come into vogue are included along with a new gallery of photographs that shows some splendid examples of contemporary tattoo art. A directory of artists' websites invites readers to discover the range of work being done around the world—from “suits” (full body tattoos) to skulls.
Praise for the first edition:
"This is the most intelligent book available to date on the modern aspects of an increasingly popular form of body decoration."
"A fascinating and well-written study, one that finely sharpens the distinction between deviance and respectability."
"The author, tattooed himself, knowledgeably discusses both the symbolic and social meanings of tattooing…[Customizing the Body] will give even those who think they know all about tattooing a fresh look at many aspects of the art and the people involved, as well as the relationship between practitioners and clients. Sanders' book is both intelligent and entertaining."
Praise for the revised and expanded edition:
"The book follows the historical, anthropological and social practices of body modification.... This second edition contains a new introduction and an interesting chapter entirely dedicated to the changes which took place over the past ten years in the world of tattoo. A new gallery of images shows some wonderful examples of contemporary tattoos."