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Staff blog


Brush up on your tattoo knowledge and get ready for The History and Culture of Tattoos with Amelia Klem Osterud on Tuesday, February 13th at 6:30 PM with this week’s #FridayReads.

Bang Bang: My Life in Ink by Bang Bang

Known for the dual gun tattoos on his neck, Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy started out as a self-taught artist in his mother’s Delaware kitchen, but now he is one of the world’s most recognized tattoo artists.  Inking celebrities like Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, LeBron James, Rita Ora, Vanessa Hudgens, Demi Lovato, and Cara Delevingne, Bang Bang makes body art more than a simple personal statement – he makes tattoos high fashion.  Learn about the stories behind his work with vignettes and stories from the stars themselves, complete with over 100 color photographs.  For example, Katy Perry and her crew get tatted after a big tour and Demi Lovato finds Bang Bang’s bold, vibrant designs express authenticity and meaningful rather than spur of the moment impulses.  Bang Bang the book illustrates the realization of one man’s dream, inspiring others to write their own success story.

The Tattoo Chronicles by Kat Von D with Sandra Bark

Katherine von Drachenburg, commonly known as Kat Von D, wears a lot of hats.  She’s a tattoo artist, model, musician, entrepreneur, and television personality.  As the owner of High Voltage Tattoo and the star if LA Ink, Kat Von D has encountered and worked with a number of people, including superstars, strippers, homeless teens, born-again Christians, psychics, and soccer moms.  In The Tattoo Chronicles, Kat Von D shares her illustrated diary, complete a description of the tattoos she inks, who is getting it, the creative process, and color photographs of sketches and finished works.  In the poignant, humorous, and confessional stories she shares, Kat Von D also explores her personal life and the impact her work has on her family, friends, fans, and love life.  Unscripted and uncensored, The Tattoo Chronicles is a colorful glimpse into Kat Von D’s personal and professional life.

The Tattooed Lady: A History by Amelia Klem Osterud

While tattoos are pretty common today, in the past, tattoos were somewhat taboo and rarely did women have them.  Meet some of the history's tattooed ladies - women who covered nearly their entire bodies with skin art and traveled the country on carnival stages and circus sideshows.  Librarian and tattoo aficionado Amelia Klem Osterud explores the real lives behind the tall tales the tattooed women told on stage.   For example, there’s Lady Viola, the “Most Beautiful Tattooed Lady in the World,” a carnival performer who had six U.S. presidents, Babe Ruth, and Ginger Rogers tattooed on her body; using historic photos, Klem focus on her true story of a working class woman.  As tattoos become more prevalent today, the lore of tattooed ladies is beginning to fade into history, but The Tattooed Lady combines the origins of tattoos, women’s history, and circus lore into a well-researched read.      


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