Lea's Reviews > The Mammoth Book of Tattoos

The Mammoth Book of Tattoos by Lal Hardy
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's review
Mar 27, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: read-2012, reviews
Read in March, 2012

There's no history or analysis here, just short bios of various artists, along with examples of their art.

Some standouts:

George Bardadim's truly gorgeous black and grey work.

Big Gus' stunning black and grey Native American piece that I believe may be based on "Hiawatha"?

Steve Byrne's beautiful traditional-style tattoos -- beautiful colors here.

Marco Cerretelli and Claudia De Rossi representing Italian artists -- I especially loved De Rossi's traditional style pieces and their rich colors. Saira Hunjan (also featured) has a similar saturated traditional style.

Mo Coppoletta's interesting use of black and grey with pops of color (although the unfortunate placement of one piece renders a religious tattoo with the patron's rosy nipple prominently featured).

Rose Hardy's GORGEOUS colors and black line work -- I absolutely loved her work.

Thomas Hooper's beautiful and unusual palm tattoos.

Nikole Lowe's calligraphy/sketch inspired swan -- this is perhaps the most unusual tattoo I've ever seen; it reminded me of those old writing books where people would practice penmanship by drawing pictures. Very pretty.

Louis Molloy's Rocketeer comic book sleeve -- I wouldn't necessarily want it on my arm, but it is detailed and truly beautiful.

Megan Oliver's mendhi style sleeve. Oliver also has a passion flower and crow/raven back piece that is very unusual and interesting.

Luca Ortis' koi fish -- placed on the client's foot, the rippling water is implied by voids in the colour. This tattoo art is a combination of vivid orange and very bright white -- I loved this one. Stewart Robson had another piece that featured this technique of using a void to depict smoke. I didn't care for Robson's subject matter, but I thought this was done very skillfully.

Steff Reider has a few pieces that feature an interesting jagged font that I found very attractive.

I found this quote from Sister Sammy endearing: "Making someone fall in love with their own arm or leg is hilarious, I love my job!"

Valerie Vargas' traditional style tattoos, particularly those featuring ornate frames and intricate details -- more bright colors here, as well as a very pretty white rose accented with pale blue. I don't know how well these colors will hold up over time, but they sure are pretty when they're created.

I didn't love every artist in this book -- no one would love every single one! -- but there were a lot that I really liked, and I would say that even the ones I didn't care for showed great skill and artistic talent. I do have to wonder about the ongoing zombie love -- I just don't get the obsession with zombies, nor why anyone would want one permanently applied to their skin.

AS to the book itself, while most of it is purely artistic, there may be a few photos that you wouldn't want your kids to see, even if they are art lovers or interested in tattoos! While most of the subjects make some sort of effort to cover up the "naughty bits", there are a couple of vaginas on display here -- as well as a couple of tattoos depicting sexy parts (one is quite graphic!). Well, that will get at least a couple of you running out to pick this one up, LOL.

An interesting look at some of the beautiful art one can find in the tattoo world.

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