Saturday, June 27, 2009

Best of Tattoos, Artists, Books & Bodies

Archangel Logan McCree, For more information see images below.

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction with reference to my work.
  2. Books, essays and other written documentation.
  3. Visual Documentation.
  4. Tattoo Artists.
  5. Best Tattoo Craftsperson;  Daemon Rowanchilde. (Urban Primitive)
  6. Tattoos of Gangsters, fundamentalists and extremists 
  7. Films.
  8. Tattooed Body of Logan McCree (Philipp Tanzer)
1.) Introduction 
Tattoos are playing an ever increasing significant role in the development of the concepts of my ceramic statements, especially with regard to surface development, complimenting the forms and shapes; becoming the defining factor in determining the inherent meaning of the ceramic sculpture.

Like tattoos, with reference to Thimotheos Roussos' interpretation (see essay mentioned below), the insignia (decoration) on the ceramic sculptures draws the gaze of the viewer, exercises the power of fascination and lowers certain defences. The eye isolates and follows the decorative patterns of the design before seduction subsides and the symbolism provokes the viewer to respond and engage the underlining meaning.

I therefore dedicate this post entry to tattoo reference material, books, documents, photo-documentation, films, tattoo artists and their work and the best of tattooed bodies. I have already outlined the significance of Russian Tattoos, in developing the surfaces for my Rat installation and the series of Ceramic Sculptures with Gay slang Titles including, Giant Pansy, Government Inspected Meat, Muscle Mary - Darling of the Judges, Exquisite Slave/ Popsie, the first ceramic sculptures entered on this blog.

Big Jaw, Ballpoint pen Drawing (2007); Inspired by tattoos and blue and white ware ceramics.

2.) Books and Essays

The following selection of books and essays brought me up to speed with regard to cultural, historical and anthropological significance of Tattoos. The most influential include;
  1. Written on the body, by Jane Caplan
  2. Tattoo and anthropology by Makiko Kuwahara and 
  3. Spiritual tattoo - a cultural history of tattooing, piercing, scarification, branding and implants, by John Rush. 
  4. The Piercing Bible by Elayne Angel.
Two essays in particular stand out, A man's "true face", concealing/revealing masculinity's in novels by Alan Duff and Witi Ihimaera written by Timotheos Roussos and the introduction to the Encyclopedia of Russian Tattoos (mentioned below), titled, All powers to the godfathers, written by Alexei Plutser-Sarno. (a review of the book is provided in the link) 
(Timotheous Roussos (author of the essay referred to above) is orginally from Cyprus. He is a PHD candidate at the University of Sydney. His main area of interest is Anglophone Postcolonial literature and he is writing his thesis on contemporary depictions of transgressive masculinities by indigenous authors)

Choosing an Image, Symbol and or Sign for a Tattoo
                                    An illustrated encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols
Selecting a symbol, sign and or image as reference for a tattoo can be a daunting task. This book is an excellent guide. This book is an excellent resource to determine the meaning of traditional symbols from a religious, cultural and spiritual perspective especially in the context of the creolization of Cultures. Its also useful document to determine the meaning and representation of symbols, when considering a symbol for a tattoo. I have used it for 23 years in support of my conceptual development of my sculptural concepts. It is simple to use and provides the meaning of traditional symbols in various religions and cultures including eastern cultures.

Ballpoint pen Drawing, reference Scarification.

3.) Visual References

The following books provided visual reference material, they include;
  1. The Encyclopedia of Russian Tattoos, by Dansig Baldaey
  2. Permanence, Tattoo Portraits by Kip Fulbeck, Forward By Horitaka
  3. 1000 Tattoos Edited by Henk Schiffmacher (Taschen), 
  4. Skin Art By Philippe de Falco and 
  5. Tattoo by Dale Rio & Eva Bianchini.

    Daemon Rowanchilde, (Artist), Studios Urban Primitive.

    4.) Tattoo Artists.
    There are as many styles of tattoos as there are interpretations of its intended meaning, which I wont go into. I leave that aspect of the debate to the academics, tattoo organisations and tattoo parlours worldwide. Jane Caplan (2000:xi) states however that the "history of tattoos are barely researched and widely misunderstood and has achieved clearer definition only in the context of the new history and sociology of bodies and cultures, ... We do this in the knowledge of what is called the 'Tattoo Renaissance' that has swept through Europe and the USA in the past few years" (Introduction for the book Written on The Body).

    This book was first published in 2000 and I am yet to find a followup publication on the subject and chapters on related issues. I guess much research has been conducted, and yet to be published. Often a thesis is written and the contents not published (especially at Masters level). Academic knowledge management, especially dissemination thereof is often not a priority - the main objective is to get the qualification.

    Jane Caplan is Marjorie Walter Goodhart Professor of European History at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania.

    Daemon Rowanchilde, (Artist), Studios Urban Primitive, Photo by Bryant.

    5.) Master Crafts person; Tattoo Artist.

    I wish to pay homage to the work, design and craftsmanship, of one particular Tattoo artist, Daemon Rowanchilde, visit his website, titled Urban Primitive. He began tattooing in 1983 before attending and completing a program in Experimental and Fine Art at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. His site provides insight into the stencil drawing technique that permits him to translate his complex and multi layered designs directly on the bodies of clients. A master craftsman in Tattooing indeed.

    Daemon Rowanchilde (Artist). Website Urban Primitive, Photo by Bryant, copyright with the Artist.

    Prison Portrait, Mara Gang Member, Chimaltenango, Guatemala, Photographer AP Rodrigo.

    6.) Tattoos of gangsters, extremists and fundamentalists.

    It is however the work by extremists, fundamentalists and prison tattoos that had the greatest impact, especially with regard to their inherent meaning and significance, as mentioned in the previous blog entry.

    Omar, Araminta de Clermont (Photographer). Omar is also Known as Krone. Out of prison for four years, purportedly a "KING" in prison. He now sleeps rough under the broken freeway in Cape Town. Article appeared in the magazine De Kat article My Journey with the Gangsters, page 56 (Photos and text by the artist).

    7.) Films
    Films have been an important visual stimulant in my life, especially during the apartheid era. I had the pleasure of seeing many thought provoking and visually enticing films, a number that were banned during my days as a student (eighties). Special screenings were permitted at selected cinemas and festivals (Standard bank Arts Festival), including the Labia movie theatre, right on our door step, across the road from the Michaelis School of Fine Art (UCT). I will do a blog entry on my top twenty films shortly.

    The following films are singled out seen in the context of body adronment, ornamentation and communication, Peter Greeneway's two films Pillow Book and Baby of Macon, American History X, The Believer, Alix Lambert's The Marc of Cain; In the Cell and Eastern Promises - an indepth explication of the significance of the tattoos (Eastern Promises) is provided at the link above .

    Alix Lambert has also just published a new book Russian prison Tattoos, Authority, and Domination.

    Edward Norton, in the film American History X.

    8.) Tattooed Body
    If there is one tattooed body that needs mentioning in the context of this blog entry, it is the tattoos of the Archangel Logan McCree, born Philipp Tanzer on the 1st of August 1977 in Dresden Germany. He calls himself a christain, acknowledging the fact that fundamentalists would disagree. His tattoos, transforms his body (head-to-toe) into an angel. He loves nature, does not do drugs, alcohol, nicotine, cafeine, steroids and considers himself to be spiritual.

    Logan McCree, born Philipp Tanzer, 1st August 1977 in Dresden Germany.

    This clean living individual is however a porn legend-in-the-making, already acknowledged as a Mr Leather Man in 2004. The notion of an angel porn star embodies the contraditions often inherent in tattooed bodies.

    Logan McCree. Mr Leather Man 2004.


    Anonymous said...

    hi eugene, great stuff... love the drawings as always. the tattooing reminds me of a book i used to have and spent much time with called "modern primitives" by REsearch. you've probably seen it. great stuff and some amazing stuff, i think it's 20 years old now. the picture i couldn't get over back then was of a man who slit his penis down the middle little by little. i think taschen has a compendium of old fashioned tattoos too that is very interesting. of course things have been moving right along and sometimes i see really nice ones like in the picture of the man's shoulder (not the mermaid one) and think it would be something i might like to do, however, my interest is probably due to the fact that i have vitiligo and i have unwanted and organically forming permanent tattoos. anyway, love the post.

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    tattoos designs said...

    point 6 is bitter fact about tattoos designs thats why some people dont like tattoo .