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Body art

The art of the tattoo: memories that run skin-deep

in Non-Fiction by

When I got my first tattoo, I remember sitting in a shop in the East Village, trying not to shake as the artist traced the pattern on my skin. It was the third time I made her reposition the swallows on my foot, and while I was afraid of being that person, I knew perfect placement was more important than being liked. The buzz of the machine started and the needle hit my skin. It hurt. The only way to describe it is to imagine being stung by electrified bees over and over in the same spot. It should have turned me off to the experience forever, but as anyone with a tattoo knows, once the seal is broken all…

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The art of the ink

in Non-Fiction by

“Um, I think they are in the New Age section.” “Somewhere in the Cultural Studies section.” “They are mixed in, it’s a tiny subsection.” In this Manhattan Barnes & Noble, books on tattoos are not prominently displayed at the front, or anywhere, in the store. Employees, two of which have visible tattoos, make guesses and vaguely gesture in the general direction where they might be found.  It was easy to understand the confusion. The books were scattered in the “Cultural Studies” section (across from “New Age”), which in itself was an odd assortment of titles that didn’t deserve their own subheading. Titles like Tattoo Sourcebook, and 1000 Biker Tattoos, full of skulls and roses and images of generic tattoos one…

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