Friday, May 31, 2013

[Book Review] Black & Grey Tattoo – Photorealism: Volume Three

Author:   Marisa Kakoulas and Edgar Hoill
Publisher: Edition Reuss
Date Published: September 2010

Movie icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Bruce Lee, horror movie characters, and animal/pet portraits dominate the pages of Volume Three. The wrinkles on the faces, the flowing hair and the twinkle in the eyes brings these tattoos to life. It takes only an instant to recognise the famous face; the resemblance is uncanny. To be able to recreate a photo onto skin in such a way that it too looks just like a photograph is the talent of a true artist.

The work of Bob Tyrrell graces over 20 pages of Black & Grey Tattoo – Photorealism: Volume Three. He's a world renowned artist who refuses to book clients months or years in advance, choosing to take the clients as they come, whether that be at his shop or at the many tattoo expos he attends. Tyrrell is a humble and down to earth guy who prefers black and grey work, only occasionally doing a colour piece because he feels "that someone else can do it better than me." He knows his strength and has worked tirelessly to perfect his craft.

Andy Engel was a guy who left the world of rock 'n roll to become a tattoo artist. Engel specialises in realism and works from his studio in a small German town where people trek every year to be tattooed by him. Tattoos are something which bring joy to our lives, but for some it has brought back a sense of normalcy to theirs. Engel, in the past, has joined forces with a local hospital, working with breast cancer survivors to perform nipple reconstructions. He tattoos realistic nipples and aureoles onto their reconstructed breast tissue to make it look just like their other non cancer affected breast.  It really is quite moving how a tattoo can make these women look and feel as though their bodies had never changed.

For many years the tattoos we knew were taken from flash sheets hung on the walls of tattoo parlours. As tattooing grew to being considered an art form tattoo artists have been pushing the boundaries, focusing on bringing a clients vision to life. "The most exciting portfolios of realistic work are not just those of long-time veterans but of "tattoo prodigies." These young artists, with just a few years of experience, have approached the style with vigour and curiosity in experimenting with different techniques. The result has been hyper-realistic work that looks just as good over time as it does freshly tattooed." All three volumes in this series are such an honest and heart-warming celebration of tattoos, art, skin and ink. I'm so excited to see how much the tattoo process and tattoo styles will change over the course of my life.

The book is translated in to English, German and Spanish.

Where to purchase: Book Depository - Cheapest by far and free shipping worldwide.

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