List of tattoo artists in this book:
NEO TRIBAL: Leo Zulueta, Daniel DiMattia, Cory Ferguson, Christos Zacharopoulos, David Sena, Idexa Stern, Christophe Souloumiac, Rory Keating, Jacqueline Spoerle, Matt Black, Nazareno Tubaro, Marc, Patrick Huettlinger, Gerhard Wiesbeck, Alex Nardini. DOTWORK: Colin Dale, Marc, Gerhard Wiesbeck, Cory Ferguson, Matt Black, Daniel DiMattia, Xed Lehead, Vincent Hocquet, Patrick Huettlinger, Pink, Jondix. ART BRUT: Yann Black, Jef, Noon, Marc, Cy Wilson, Navette. TRADITIONAL REVIVAL: Filipino Tribe, Seymour Kaniho, Roonui Anania, Jeremy Lo, Volker Kloth. THAI/BUDDHIST: Peter Schachner, Horizakura, Daniel DiMattia, Mike The Athens, Jondix
This amazing book is a photographic journey across the globe – from Borneo to Belgium, Argentina to Athens, New York to New Zealand and beyond – in search of avant-garde tattoo art that pays homage to the ancient roots of tattooing in their contemporary interpretations. No other publication has curated the work of so many esteemed international tattooists working in black ink and gathered them into one compre-hensive volume. The journey begins with a look at the history of tattooing before featuring black tattoo portfolios divided into the following chapters: Neotribal, Dotwork, Art Brut, Traditional Revival and Thai/Buddhist.
The Neotribal chapter showcases the work of those specializing in contemporary interpretations of traditional tattooing and the melding of various cultural motifs. This tattoo work is particularly sought after for its harmony with the contours of the body. The photos in this chapter are preceded by an interview with the artist considered the godfather of Neotribal tattooing, Leo Zulueta. Following Leo is a Q&A with one of today’s top artists in this style, Daniel DiMattia of Calypso Tattoo in Belgium.
Dotwork tattooing, also called stippling, has gained enormous popularity in recent years as a way to shade, add depth and texture tattoo art. The literal buzz over London’s Xed Le Head’s rotary machine creations was heard around the world, energizing others to try their hand at Dotwork. Colin Dale, renowned for this style as well, discusses how he creates his body art using hand tools rather than a machine. Photos of Dotwork tattoos, from geometric patterns to ancient Nordic art, are displayed in this chapter.
The hardest chapter to label is that of Art Brut because the style simply does not have a title – in fact, it rebels against any categorization. If tattooing is considered outsider art, this is the outsider art of the outsiders. We call it Art Brut, or raw art, a term coined by Jean Dubuffet for art beyond aesthetic norms. The spontaneity and fever that the work embodies is often mistaken for simple, crude line work but nothing could be farther from the truth. In this chapter, the man who has sparked the Art Brut tattoo style, Yann Black of France, discusses the passion and painstaking methods behind his portfolio.
Traditional Revival looks at those who honor indigenous tattoo cultures by carrying on their art, customs, technique and spirit. While this book is centered around modern Blackwork, it is necessary to look back at where today’s tattooing derived. The chapter begins with the Tatak Ng Apat Na Alon Tribe, which means the Mark of the Four Waves. Then, there’s the story of Volker Kloth, a German man, who was inducted into the ways of Ta Moko, the ancient art of the Maori in New Zealand. Seymour Kaniho from Hawaii talks about creating art that speak to the wearer’s life story while remaining true to Polynesian tradition. Photos of their works follow the interviews, in addition to images of traditional handwork from Borneo by Jeremy of Monkey Tattoo, and the soulful art from Tahiti by Roonui Anania of Tahiti Tattoos.
Finally, the Thai and Buddhist art-inspired chapter begins with the incredible story of Peter Schachner, who was imprisoned in Thailand in the early nineties and learned the craft of hand-poked tattooing from fellow inmates over the four years spent at Lard Yao prison – a name he uses when he tattoos on the road to honor his teachers. Images of his work are exhibited along with those of other tattooists including Mike The Athens of Greece and Jondix of Spain, who strive to keep tattooing a spiritual practice.
Black Tattoo Art: Modern Expression of the Tribal is written and edited by Marisa Kakoulas, a heavily tattooed New York lawyer and journalist who contributes to tattoo publications as well as mainstream media. Her daily musings on tattoo culture can be found at NeedlesandSins.com
What Journalists Say
Total Tattoo (United Kingdom)
Starsfive star for Black Tattoo Art
Many of you will know of Marisa Kakoulas for her beautiful black tattoos by Daniel DiMattia from Calypso Tattoo in Belgium that have appeared in numerous tattoo magazines. Marisa has now turned her lifelong passion for black tattoos into this superb new book.
Black Tattoo Art is a sumptuous volume which covers every aspect of monochrome tattooing, from its tribal roots around the world to the modern day masters of the medium such as Xed Lehead, Jondix, Daniel DiMattia, Leo Zulueta, Cory Ferguson, Colin Dale, Noon, Alex Nardini, Mike the Athens, Rory Keating and many more.
It is a superbly detailed and meticulously researched tome (as you would expect, with Marisa being a journalist and lawyer by profession) and contains a history of black tattooing through the ages and around the globe as well as interviews with some of the today’s major protagonists of the art, which puts the tattoos into an intellectual and historical context.
The production values of Black Tattoo Art are superb, as we have come to expect from German publisher Edition Reuss. And, with over 500 pages stuffed full of the most glorious photos, this book is a true visual fest, nay, a banquet! If we had a six start rating, Black Tattoo Art would certainly merit it.
StarsCustomer review at Amazon.com
High quality tribal tattoo reference.
The full title is "Black Tattoo Art: Modern Expressions of the Tribal." This thick book (536 pages, mostly photos) covers Neotribal, Dotwork, Art Brut, Traditional Revival and Thai/Buddhist tattooing. It is large format with good photography and printing quality. It focuses on individual artist in these styles and includes well written interviews and introductions to each style, in German and English.
The Neotribal section is excellent, and includes an interesting interview with Leo Zulueta, the father of the style. The Dotwork section - tattoos constructed of tiny black dots - is amazing (a sample is shown on the cover). The Traditional Revival (Samoan, Maori, Filipino...) and Thai/Buddhist sections are good but not an extensive look at these areas.
The Art Brut section is interesting as it is a relatively new style and not previously well documented. Yet it feels out of place in a tribal study as it has literal subject maters and is often multi-color (as opposed the black abstract decorate nature of traditional and neo tribal).
All in all, an amazing collection of beautifully designed, expertly executed tattoos.
Urban Ink (USA)
Overall Black Tattoo Art is a superb collection of esteemed black tattoo artists and striking designs not only tattoo enthusiasts, but anyone with eyes will enjoy.
Skin Deep (United Kingdom)
Written with authority, love, and an unabated desire to bring exquisite Blackwork to the attention of the world, Marisa has unveiled one of the most exciting and comprehensive books on this suject to date. An absolute instant classic and a must have to your library.