Betty Boop With a Dildo? The Images All Come From Within You

Betty Boop With a Dildo? The Images All Come
From Within You,
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, The Art

Are tattoos just an external manifestation of urges and identities
that exist within our bodies and minds? Several writers argue this
in Written on the Body: the tattoo in European and American
edited by Jane Caplan, a recent compilation of many of
the current and historical ideas about the meaning of the tattoo.
As Chinchilla, a modern tattooist argues, ‘everything I ink on
people is already inside them… I only open up the skin and let it
out, succubus, cherub, bike, snake, Betty Boop with a dildo.’ (What
does this say about tattoos that are removed, one wonders!) In his
review of the book in The Art Newspaper, Robert
Douglas-Fairhurst notes the fascinating paradox of the tattoo.
‘Because the tattooist inserts an indelible ink up to 0.5cm into
the dermis,’ he writes, ‘the resulting tattoo appears to be
simultaneously on and under the skin, a decoration of the body’s
surface and a penetration of its depths, a form of self-expression
and self-concealment.’ — Amanda Luker
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