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Body Type: Intimate Messages Etched in Flesh Hardcover – September 1, 2006
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About the Author
Wendi Koontz has illustrated for many periodicals, including The New York Times, New York Press, and Girls Life magazine. She also lives in New York City.
Top Customer Reviews
The book was inspired by a typographic tattoo which Ms. Saltz saw on the subway one day, and after that discovery (which her subject happily let her photograph), she began seeing more and more tattoos that contained words, letters, and typographical symbols instead of the more standard traditional pictorial images. These people used a wide variety of typefaces for these tattoos, and sometimes even designed their own typefaces. I loved the ambiagram tattoos, the ones designed in a typeface that lets the word be read the same upside-down as it is when viewed rightside-up.Read more ›
The breadth of work represented here is astounding, and smartly edited. Way beyond "MOM" in a scrolled banner, the viewer is shown not only letterforms tattooed for the sake of their own beauty, sometimes incorporating body parts (eg a nipple) for punctuation; but also letterforms composing words of great meaning to the tattooed. The most moving example of the latter is the subject who tattooed the word "forgiveness" over the word "hatred" he had scarred into his arm years earlier. The hatred and later forgiveness refer to his mother who had committed suicide.
The content ranges from art, like the writer Shelley Jackson's "Skin" project, to political statements such as the Dutch group of 33 individuals tattooed with lyrics from the National Anthem. The tattoos were done in protest to the Queen's decree that the anthem be played only in the presence of a member of the royal family. She later acquiesced.
But there are plenty of lighter moments to look at, with less expected nods to pop culture: a Ouija board, Krispy Kreme logos, and even a series of ambiagrams (words that read the same forwards and upright as well as upside-down and backwards), popularized by The da Vinci Code's Tom Brown in Angels and Demons.
Each tattoo photographed is captioned with a brief, pithy statement from the person sporting the tattoo. Even in cases where the choice of tattoo may seem obvious, the quote adds further insight.Read more ›
the book will be of particular interest to graphic designers, typographers and tattoo aficionados; and it works well both as a coffee table skimmer and a more serious study.
would love to see a follow-up volume, perhaps with a directory of tattooists who specialize in typographic tattoos.
The idea of an all-text tattoo is brilliant. I can't believe I never thought of it. A lot of people, however, have, and Ina Saltz has made a project out of documenting these tattoos. The result (at least, up till now) is Body Type, a fine book of photography depicting these tattoos, with the expected short captions containing explanations by the owners of the tattoos about their reasons for getting them. (These are, at times, unintentionally hilarious.)
As enamored as I am of the idea behind the book, I'm not as much so where some of the actual photographs are concerned. Many of them are nicely done, but there are a few that just don't work; too dark, too light, too washed out, too something, depending on the photograph. Not a good thing in a book of photography, one thinks. Still, there are enough good photographs here depicting such an excellent idea that it's still worth your time. *** ½
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book has a very contemporary feel and little humor and a lot of personal experience. The groupings of style of text tattoos makes for a fun read. Read morePublished on March 4, 2014 by Hieronymous B'gosh
rich visual study of tattoos done with words (as opposed to drawings)in a variety of type faces, styles and places on the body.Published on June 25, 2011 by G. Gruenberg
As a big fan of both tattoos and typography, I was very happy to discover this book. I love the photos and diversity of the tattoos. Read morePublished on February 28, 2010 by Nicki Hoffman
This is a terrific book! Ina Saltz takes a trained eye for imagery (hers) and story telling (hers and her subjects) and organizes them into relevant chapters to reveal to the... Read morePublished on November 24, 2008 by RJG
This book has thousands of clearly photographed tattoos for inspiration, they may also serve as a "What not to get" sample.Published on December 27, 2007 by J. Mersiowsky
If you are into typography, the personal meanings of words, or tattoos, this is an excellent book. The photos focus on the words, not the people wearing them, but the descriptions... Read morePublished on June 27, 2007 by Paul Hoffman
This book is fabulous for all the reasons Ina outlines in her introduction. I was not prepared for it to be both philosophical and intimate. I love it. It is inspirational. Read morePublished on September 27, 2006 by Kenneth
What an amazing book to showcase the evolution of typography! This book opens the world of tattoos mixed with typography and what possibilities they have together. Read morePublished on September 15, 2006 by Liana Zamora