Eric Guillon & Jérôme Pierrat - Tattooed Sailors
In 1769, Cook's Endeavor dropped anchor in Tahiti. The sailors attend the strange ceremony of the "tatau" which consists of decorating the body with bluish marks by injecting ink under the skin. Bewitched, they in turn succumb to local custom. On their return, they describe with enthusiasm and nostalgia this paradisiacal life: the attraction for tattooing was born, definitively attached to exoticism and eroticism. Soon, the phenomenon spreads and we witness a real tattoo rage: the exhibitions of tattooed sailors obtain a huge success, the working class is seduced. In the port cities, the first studios opened and the tattoo craze spread to America, invading the port of New York before spreading to the West Coast. Specialists of this new art impose their name and their style. Through more than one hundred and twenty photographs of American sailors, this beautiful book presents the history of this practice, deciphering the different patterns and designs of tattooed people with a series of original illustrations, combining the aesthetics of the photo portrait and unique archives.