Tattoo exhibition ... Field Museum, Chicago

The practice of tattooing has an extensive primitive history in Asian
and African countries, where it had social, religious and mystical
roles. In 3000 BC, Ötzi (whose mummy was famously discovered in the
1990s) covered his body in 57 tattoos. In the West, meanwhile, tattoos
have long been signifiers of infamy and criminality, before becoming a
badge of identity for various urban tribes. Tattoo examines the
artistic nature of the practice and celebrates its many cultural
expressions from ancient times to the present. Among the topics
explored are Native North American tattoos; American tattooing from
the Revolution through the 1980s; Russian criminal tattooing; European
sideshow culture; Japan's tattoo boom during the Edo period; tattooing
in the Marquesas Islands, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand; and
newly emerging Latino, Chicano and Chinese tattoo cultures. Alongside
accounts of older tattoo practices (presented through rare artifacts,
paintings and archival photographs) and contemporary cultural trends
in tattooing, the book pays tribute to the pioneers of the modern era,
those responsible for its transformation into the mainstream. In
addition, it includes two "workshop" sections in which contemporary
tattoo artists demonstrate their craft. The artists featured are
internationally renowned, and many have created a style that has
evolved into its own school. The book closes with a series of photos
assessing the most recent currents in modern tattooing.

MfG, Karl Dietz

> Ausstellung im Field Museum in Chicago):


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