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The Mammoth Book of Tattoos

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This collection covers all styles of tattoos from bold tribal pieces, Chines characters, and hieroglyphs to delicate air-brushed designs. Included are striking images of tattoos ranging from all-over “body suits” to individual motifs.

512 pages, Paperback

First published March 1, 2009

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Lal Hardy

9 books4 followers

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5 stars
76 (30%)
4 stars
87 (34%)
3 stars
59 (23%)
2 stars
24 (9%)
1 star
7 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 reviews
Profile Image for Lea.
439 reviews79 followers
March 28, 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.

Profile Image for Lance Greenfield.
Author 108 books231 followers
December 6, 2009
Excellent pictures. Awesome!!!!

Not many words to read though!
(and that's an understatement)
Profile Image for S.S..
Author 11 books8 followers
October 13, 2017
I recently bought this book because I'm a tattoo lover and own several tattoos myself (with the intention to have even more inked onto me.) I liked the short bios on the different artists (of which there were eighty) and also enjoyed looking at the various photos of different styles of tattoos. This is a book for tattoo lovers and owners. (how many times can I say tattoo in this book review, by the way? XD )


Profile Image for Chris.
400 reviews3 followers
March 15, 2014
This is a good book for the tattoo fan and artist alike, a classic 'coffee table' book it is literally cover to cover photographs of some of the most impressive tattooing I have seen ever from top artists around the world. The tattoos are breathtaking, some of them look like paintings they are so good. The book is a bible for any fan of tattooing and is full of inspriational art.

I can only think of two points on which to criticise this book. Some tattoo artwork on human bodies is placed near, or on, the genitals. This is no secret and some of that art is featured in this book (and quite rightly so) my only concern is that for some reason very few of the females felt the need to cover their genitals and left them fully exposed for the photos of their tattoos. When I say this I don't mean their legs are spread like in some sort of porn movie I just mean they are visible as the female stands or sits to show the camera her tattoo. My question regarding this is "why?" I didn't buy the book to get off on it, I bought it to look at tattoo artwork. Would it have been too difficult for the photographer to ask the subject to cover up? Or indeed to cover the genitals themselves during the editing process afterwards. It's a shame because now I cannot keep the book on my coffee table for all to enjoy as it may offend some people and I certainly wouldn't recommend letting children look at the book.
The adult content is not mentioned on the cover of the book or anywhere that I can see which is a concern as I would have no issue with a 14 year old looking at photos of tattoos but I do if they contain nude images of female genitals. You may notice I say 'female' and not 'male' thats because all the male genitals in the book are always covered by the owners hand or a piece of clothing.

My only other complaint was that the book is not made well. I have owned my copy less than six months and already the binding is falling apart.
Profile Image for Dee (dees_book_blog).
275 reviews23 followers
December 27, 2012
There's not a lot of writing in here, but enough for you to have a nice introduction, anda s small bio about each tattoo artist.

There are some amazing artists in this book, and some absolutely fantastic tattoos. I was glad to see Chris Garver in there as i have loved him ever since first setting eyes on Miami Ink. To be honest, I don't know many famous tattoo artists, so was glad to be able to see some of their artwork and learn a little about them in this book.

I got this on the kindle and it was perfect size etc, but because of the beautiful pictures, I think I may still have to get it in hardback anyway!
Profile Image for Mykee  Tan .
31 reviews18 followers
April 16, 2010
This one's a nice reference book regarding some popular tattoo artists. It provides a general idea about their particular styles of tattooing. I wish there were more sample works inside the book though because it really only shows a very vague idea of what each of the artists is capable of doing. Also, a more extensive biography on each artist wouldn't hurt. Oh, and captions. How can you show pictures inside a book without captions???

None the less, I would still recommend this book to any tattoo enthusiast.
1 review
July 24, 2016
For anyone who loves the art of tattoos this book is fantastic BUT if you actually want to be able to open this book fully & read more than once don't bother wasting your money. This book, a long with all of Lal Hardys The Mammoth Book of Tattoos are so poorly made. I can't even open them more than quarter of the way without the cheap plastic spine breaking so not only do you not get to enjoy each page to it's fullest but you risk the pages actually falling out.

5 stars for the tattoo work book quality doesn't even get a rating.
April 25, 2016
E-book Not readable

I bought the digital version of this book due to all the negative reviews on the terrible binding of the physical copy.
Unfortunately, all the text in the digital version runs over top of each other rendering it impossible to read.
Very dissatisfied, considering the content of this particular book is held in high regard.
Will be attempting to contact the publishers.
15 reviews
May 22, 2012
Well worth picking up for true lovers of tattoo. I saw Lal Hardy at Brighton tattoo convention with a copy- seventeen and completely starstruck. It's just an exhibition of artists, but there's some truly awesome work in there. Perfect for inspiration and choosing one of the best.
4 reviews
September 12, 2009
Well, it's more of a showcase of tattoo artists and their work than all round tattooness. Awesome stuff though!
Profile Image for Bradley.
1,643 reviews12 followers
April 6, 2011
I truly believe that tattoos are an art form so I really loved this book. Plus, I've been wanting to get my own ink for awhile now so it helped me garner ideas.
Profile Image for Paula.
3 reviews1 follower
October 29, 2012
Love the pictures and the bio's on all the artists. Very informative and keeps you wanting to see what is on the next page.
Profile Image for Kerry.
654 reviews15 followers
August 7, 2013
Good. Obviously, mostly pics of awesome tats but I like to read the blubs from the artists. Gave me some new ideas, too. :-)
Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 reviews

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