The bulk of my tattoo knowledge comes from books. This is my personal tattoo library:
American Extremes by George Toomer

Art, Sex and Symbol: the Mystery of Tattooing by R.W.B. Scutt and Christopher Gotch

Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos by Samuel M. Steward

Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo by Margot Mifflin

Body Marks: Tattooing, Piercing and Scarification by Kathlyn Gay and Christine Whittington

Body Packaging: A guide to human sexual display by Julian Robinson

Body Styles by Ted Polhemus

Bushido by Takahiro Kitamura and Katie M. Kitamura

Customizing the Body: The Art and Culture of Tattooing by Clinton R. Sanders

Dorothy Parker's Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos, edited by Kim Addonizio and Cheryl Demesnil
Dragon Tattoo Design by D.E. Hardy

Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Incredible Collectors, Weird Antiques and Odd Hobbies by Bill Carmichael

Marks of Civilization, edited by Arnold Rubin

Mehndi: the art of henna body painting by Carine Fabius

Modcon: the secret world of extreme body modification by Shannon Larratt

Modern Primitives by Re/Search

Punk and Neo-Tribal Body Art by Daniel Wojcik

Pushing Ink: the fine art of tattooing by Spider Webb

Return of the Tribal by Rufus C. Camphausen

Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia, drawings and foreward by Danzig Baldaev, photography by Sergei Vasiliev

Skin Shows: the art of tattoo by Chris Wroblewski

Skin Shows II: the art of tattoo by Chris Wroblewski

Tattoo: the exotic art of skin decoration by Michelle Delio

Tattoo: pigments of imagination by Chris Wroblewski

Tattoo History: a source book by Steve Gilbert

Tattoo, Torture, Mutilation, and Adornment: The Denaturalization of the Body in Culture and Text, edited by Frances E. Mascia-Lees and Patricia Sharpe

Tattooed Women by Chris Wroblewski

Tattooing A to Z by Huck Spaulding

Tattoos: Coloring the Human Canvas by Armad Eisen

Tattoos of The Floating World by Takahiro Kitamura

The Art of the New Zealand Tattoo by Anne Nicholas

The Body Decorated by Victoria Ebin

The Customized Body by Ted Polhemus and Housk Randall

The Decorated Body by Robert Brain

The Japanese Tattoo by Donald Richie and Ian Buruma

The New Tattoo by Victoria Lautman

The Rock Star Tattoo Encyclopedia by Patricia Steur

The Tattoo: Graffiti for the Soul by Catherine Grognard

The Tattooists by Albert L. Morse

Written on the Body: the Tattoo in European and American History, edited by Jane Caplan

7 Tattoos: a memoir in the flesh by Peter Trachtenberg

1000 Tattoos by Henk Schiffmacher


Memoirs of a Sword Swallower by Daniel P. Mannix

Circus of the Scars by Jan T. Gregor with Tim Cridland

Freak Like Me: Inside the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow by Jim Rose

Freaks: We Who Are Not As Others by Daniel P. Mannix

Freak Show: Presenting Human Oddities for Amusement and Profit by Robert Bogdan

Inside Teradome: An Illustrated History of Freak Film by Jack Hunter

Lobster Boy by Fred Rosen



  • Vol. 1 - New Tribalism
  • Vol. 2 - Tattoo Magic
  • Vol. 3 - Music and Sea Tattoos
  • Vol. 4 - Life and Death Tattoos
  • Vol. 5 - Art From The Heart
Forever YES: art of the new tattoo - exhibition catalog from 1992 show

Eye Tattooed America - exhibition catalog from show at Ann Nathan gallery , 1993

Pierced Hearts and True Love: A Century of Drawings for Tattoos - exhibtion catalog from show at The Drawing Center, 1996

2000 Dragons - exhibition catalog from show by Don Ed Hardy at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


Brand New Cherry Flavor by Todd Grimson

Freaks' Amour by Tom De Haven

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Grave Markings by Michael A. Arnzen

Skin by Kathe Koja

Tattoo by Dale Banks

The Snake Tattoo by Linda Barnes

The Tattoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi

The Tattooed Map by Barbara Hodgson

The Woman Between the Worlds by F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre

Check out this body art!

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