The whole "tattoing is now mainstream practice" thing has become a little hackneyed. Still, there is remains room for books that present the breadth of the current tattoo industry neatly and with smart commentary. Tattoo World does both and while not a definitive encyclopedia, there is plenty to thrill those seeking for inspiration for their next bit of ink. Abstract work from Cy Wilson and Ran Maclurkin provide nice balance to more traditional tattoos. Legends (Bugs, Bob Tyrell, Leo Zuleuta) share the pages with talented younger artists (like Amanda Wachob), and flipping through provides ample evidence of how trends and styles grow and mutate through generations. That is the strength of the book — Tattoo World highlights the growth of the industry through a few solid portfolio reviews.
Marisa Kakoulas and Michael Kaplan are the authors. Kakoulas has great tattoo chops, her Black Tattoo Art and Black & Grey Tattoo tomes are phenominal.
Tattoo World by Marisa Kakoulas and Michael Kaplan, Abrams, October 2011.