Snapshot surveillance by photographer and writer, Hartnett.
Revulsion. Sorry, but that’s what I feel with 99.09% of tattoo ‘work’ that I see upon people making an exhibition of themselves. Vulgaric, barbaric.
Body ‘art’? Modification? Pro-primitism in a technological world? Come on… more consideration seems to be given to a choice of B&Q wallpaper than it does for many a random ink job.
Tattoos are invariably not deep and meaningful. All too often, as with a drunken sailor on leave in another time, they’re paint-by-numbers jobs that are selected to be one of the crowd. Fit in. Be one of the circus lads or ladettes, all making the same personal statement of individuality, inspired by youth-centric celeb influence. Personal credo, my arse. Trickle up, trickle down.
The graphic form has now spread beyond the body, spreading across all forms of merchanise, from handbags to stockings.
Sure, I photograph ‘em from a trending perspective, as part of Social and Fashion History, but my stomach invariably churns at the sight of one inked generation after another. It’s the permanency of tattooing that irks me. Wouldn’t want to live with the same wallpaper forever, would we?
All Images and Text ©Hartnett/PYMCA