Approximately 300 close-up original photographs of tattoo artwork from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, predominant imagery includes Harley Davidson symbols, roses and other flowers, skulls, skeletons, dragons, unicorns, tigers, panthers, and eagles, with a number of photographs depicting before and after shots of some crude and unprofessional tattoos being altered or enhanced, and a handful of photographs annotated to verso as being the work of respected tattoo artist Mike Armstrong of the Blue Dragon tattoo parlor in Morelia, Mexico. Almost all photographs 3" x 5", a small number slightly larger or slightly smaller or cut down. Loose as issued, housed in a contemporary photo album. N.p. (Phoenix? and Morelia, Mexico), 1970s-1990s.
Early in the history of tattooing, tattoos were almost exclusively found on criminals and sailors and considered low-class. In the 1960s and 1970s, tattooing was primarily a way to demonstrate rebellion within outsider cultural groups such as biker gangs or hippies. However, by the late 1970s and 1980s, tattoos were becoming much more mainstream and fashionable, and a way for people to express themselves. Tattooing has now been elevated to an art form, and this photo archive is from an interesting transitional period when tattooing began that shift from outsider into mainstream culture. Book ID: 50220