Tattooing is not a modern occurrence, in fact some believe that it can be traced back through history to as early as 12,000 BC. It has held, throughout all of that time, many different forms of significance – some to demonstrate the status of people within a society, some purely decorative and other to denote milestones that have been accomplished. Today tattoos are still evolving, as does their meaning, in fact these days it seems tattoos could possibly hold a much more personal meaning for those who wear them. For as many different types of tattoo we see today, there will be someone with an opinion on them – are they suitable for everyone, should they be seen in the workplace, are they only acceptable on certain places on the body and a whole host of other thoughts on the subject.
For us as a society, the most relevant changes and evolutions of being inked has to have happened in the last 100 years, along with our ability to consume as much knowledge on the subject as possible. A fantastic book to read on the subject is 100 Years of Tattoos by David McComb, as someone who is tattooed with her fair share of pieces, I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and all that it had to offer.
100 Years of Tattoos explores just how mainstream tattooing has become, having once been the sign of a sailor or criminal, Circus Sideshow attractions or a particular culture, it is now much more accepted to be adorned with artwork. It takes a look in detail at the last 100 years of tattooing and is thoroughly illustrated with incredible photographs that document many of the traditions from around the world.
McComb also looks at how incredibly personal tattoos have now become to people, as I myself can attest and how they are now viewed in our society. 100 Years of Tattoos is a fantastic social history in pictorial form, looking at the underlying meaning of tattoos as they have evolved and as they were seen in a more historical context. This is a brilliant book for anyone interested in body art or its place in modern society.
Available from Laurence King for £19.95