Book Review: "Forever The New Tattoo"

November 19, 2012

In deliberating if tattoos and tattooists can present themselves as art and artists, Forever: The New Tattoo brings new language and thought to the often stigmatized reputation of tattoo culture. Matt Lodder explains in the foreword, “Tattoos cannot obviously be bought, sold, and traded like paintings because they are painful, bloody, and laborious to acquire.” Lodder, a tattoo owner and historian, takes contemporary developments in tattooing and places them into historical contexts. Drawing parallels between tattooist, tattooies and their respective arts, Forever creates a dialogue that contributes to the history of tattoo culture. Forever also expands on new tattoo motifs that are strongly influenced by art, fashion, traditional tattooing and how tattooing has influenced fashion and art alike.

In addition to tattoo discourse, the book has stunning visuals and features Duke Riley, Mike Giant, Scott Campbell, Amanda Wachob, Mark Cross, Peter Aurisch, Robert Ryan, Jonas Uggl, and Duncan X to name a few. It is hard to ignore the shape, weight, texture, style and overall detail that went into the book, perhaps paying homage to tattoos themselves. Forever is nearly 18 inches wide opened, displaying impressive spreads of distinguished tattoo imagery, including flash and portraits. Adding this to your collection of books will serve you and your inextinguishable need for more tattoos very well. -Brent DCVII Gentile

Buy it here.