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Permanence: Tattoo Portraits

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  124 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Once a fringe phenomenon, tattooing is now a full-blown cultural fact. More than 40 million people in the U.S. alone have tattoos, all with unique stories about why they chose to indelibly mark their bodies. Permanence combines photographic tattoo portraits with these stories, told in the subjects' own words and handwriting. Kip Fulbeck brings together young and old of all ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published March 5th 2008 by Chronicle Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 282)
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Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Some of the tattoos in this book aren't all that great but it's the stories behind the tattoos that are amazing. People's stories are told in their own handwriting next to their tattoo pictures. There are also great interviews. It's interesting to find the back story about why individuals choose the tattoos that they do. Some of my favorites include:

A man with a shark tattoo on his forearm says: "After a close encounter with a 8 ft Bull Shark we made a deal. Sharks don't eat me & I won't eat
Planet of the Books
Apr 03, 2008 Planet of the Books rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: tattoo enthusiasts
Tattoos, like books tell us stories of love, hope, and grief. In addition to the emotions that they are able to express, ink also narrates a day when getting a tattoo just seemed like the right thing to do. It’s the history and the desire to write that history on the body that makes tattoos so fascinating. There has been a lot of coverage on the topic, but Permanence: Tattoo Portraits, put out by Chronicle Books is the first of its kind.

Author Kip Fulbeck has provided readers with a book that o
his is a collection of tattoo art and brief interviews with the tattooed, talking about why they chose to get tattooed and what their tattoos mean to them. Some of the tats are truly beautiful – there’s one in particular that I liked, which was done in black ink and featured Japanese style cherry blossoms scattered over the tattooee’s back. Skin makes for an interesting canvas. A lot of the colorful tattoos seem like overkill – too much tattoo – and so many of them aren’t at all appealing to me. ...more
Marian Abou Samra
This is a nonfiction book about tattoos and the tattoos people have on them. On each page there is a picture of a person and their tattoos and a little description about why they got it. That description is handwritten by each individual. There are a few pages that explain why a certain individual got their tattoo and what it means to them, it also talks about their life story and how it led them to get a significant tattoo. This book includes answers to why people get tattoos, there are various ...more
Henri Moreaux
Apr 22, 2014 Henri Moreaux rated it really liked it
This is, essentially, a book about people with tattoos.

It's not about the tattoos themselves, although they are pictured, but more about the stories and lives of the person with said tattoos.

Each opening has a brief note or story on one page and a photo of the person/persons tattoos on the other. Interspersed are interviews with various related parties such as Evan Seinfeld, Oliver Peck, Kat Von D.

I found the stories behind the older folks tattoos the most interesting, but some of the other fol
This is a beautiful book which opens up your world to the stories behind the tattoos of each individual. Some are impulsive and rebellious, some from the Nazi concentration camps, some in remembrance of a loved one - mother, unborn and aborted baby, honoured soldier, some to remind oneself of the past and not to commit the same mistake again, and some to remind or to be proud of their own heritage.
John Hornbrook
Dec 03, 2013 John Hornbrook rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Six tattoos that stood out to me.
1. A old couple who is very much in love decided to tatoo their entire bodies alll the way to the toes.
2. Another full body tatooer is s a man who did all his under the influence of LSD.
3. A young attractive woman who looks like a person who would never get a tatoo yet she had a huge tasteful picture of a young girl dancing through the rain
4. A survivor of breast cancer had a large tattoo that wrapped around her body to symbolize her life story.
5. Brock Lesner a
Jul 05, 2009 Bridget rated it liked it
Things that I liked about this book: the way each person writes up their own tattoo story, the diversity in age, race, and gender of subjects, the different handwriting styles, the pictures.

Things I could have done without: The constant condescension toward people getting tattoos that popped up in each tattoo artist’s interview as well as the foreword. We get it. You’ve been into tattoos and tattooing since you could walk. That’s awesome. But people who just decided to get a tattoo because their
Mar 03, 2014 Grant rated it really liked it
This non fiction book is a compilation of people's tattoos and their stories behind them. Even though there is not much writing i still found the book incredibly interesting and very informing into why people get tattooed.
Nov 18, 2012 Leila rated it really liked it
Leila Habayeb
Independent Reading
November 2012

"Permanence: Tattoo Portraits - Kip Fulbeck"

Informational text - no page numbers

Permanence by Kip Fulbeck is a really interesting informational text. It is really interesting because each page is a different photo of a tattoo and with it is the reasoning by the person for it. I found it really interesting to learn about why people got tattoos and the significance behind them. I was able to read the book and enjoy the excellent photography without havi
Feb 27, 2014 Angel rated it really liked it
It was neat to read why people got the ink they did, though at times it was hard to read the handwriting. I loved the couple in their 60s both with full body suits.
Sophie Fekete
Permanence: Tattoo Portraits is an informative book that is 276 pages, written by and photographed by Kip Fulbeck. In this book, it contains a series of photographs of tattoos, and then it details stories about the person in their own handwriting. I liked this book for numerous reasons. Firstly, the cinematography and the presentation is quite beautiful, even if the tattoo itself isn't that attractive. I would recommend this book to anybody, because it gives insight into the infatuation with tat ...more
Sarah Louise
Jan 30, 2011 Sarah Louise rated it really liked it
I thought this was clever. I really like that each story was even in the own writing of ther person who's portrait was on the opposite page. I found the interviews interesting and it was all around an ejoyable read. I'd recomend it to anyone of my friends interested in the tattoo world
Aug 06, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, 1dayread
I liked how each individual's thoughts were handwritten -- I just wish that something could have been done about the spelling/typographical errors. If one more person said "My tattoo's [sic:] mean everything to me," I would have screamed. It's basic grammar people!
Sep 07, 2010 Ellen rated it really liked it
I'm pretty much numb to body modification and haven't been impressed by a tattoo since the late 90's. Mostly intrigued by this book's concept, people explaining their tattoos in their own words, I started flipping through.

More than a few of these gave me a jolt.
Apr 30, 2009 Kricket rated it really liked it
really cool book of people's tattoos and a handwritten page on what their ink means to them. fulbeck really got a wide range here: people who got drunk and got tattoos to people who regret their tattoos to people whose tattoos are tributes or memorials...
Oct 16, 2012 Ashley rated it it was amazing

A book filled with gorgeous photos of everyday people and a few celebrities, with their own handwriting beside each describing why they got their tattoo of choice. Lovely quality, brilliant idea and very beautiful.
Jul 12, 2010 Sara rated it it was ok
Shelves: tattoo
The photography was great but the rest of the book was pretty mediocre. Most of the entries were about people getting tattoos on a whim. Plus, some of those entries weren't even legible.
Dec 19, 2008 Corinne rated it it was amazing
Fulbeck came to our school last year to give a presentation. He's really cool, and he has a way of connecting to his audience. Definitely an artist to look out for in the future.
Heather Rose
Nov 09, 2012 Heather Rose rated it really liked it
The trials and tribulations, love and glory, honest and sometimes odd stories of those who were the first, the only and now part of the masses of the populace who are inked.
Aug 27, 2008 Sally rated it really liked it
Best book of tattoo illustrations that I've seen, with the added bonus of each person's own words of description, plus the author's explanatory narrative.
Jun 01, 2012 Michelle rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2012
Not all I thought it would be. Still kinda interesting.

I was expecting detailed stories about why each person got their tattoos and their meaning.
Jun 28, 2009 Claire rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, artsy
I liked reading people's explanations in their own handwriting. Absolutely loved the guitar and dinosaur tats.
Apr 06, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing
loved the fact that each tattoo was described by the owner of it in their own handwriting.
May 12, 2009 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Amazing tatoo portraits with some behind the scene stories. For all those who love tatooes.
Lisa Beamer
Aug 07, 2008 Lisa Beamer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
The stories in this book about the tattoos they have were so intriguing. The art was awesome, too.
Chris S
Dec 08, 2009 Chris S rated it liked it
Shelves: arty
Pretty cool. I'm always interested to hear peoples stories behind their tat's.
Dec 24, 2012 Joanna rated it really liked it
Great pics of cool tattoos with stories in the canvas's handwriting. Very cool.
Aug 06, 2011 Amber rated it really liked it
Beautiful work
Kris rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2016
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