Monday, January 5, 2009

“Permanence”, Tattoo Portraits By Kip Fulbeck
Invisible NYC

Tattoo Portraits By Kip Fulbeck

Exhibition runs JAN 3 - JAN 24, 2009

at Invisible NYC
148 Orchard St

About the book:

Tattoo Portraits
By Kip Fulbeck
Foreword by Horitaka

“Tattoos, for better or worse, reflect the human experience. Our successes, our joys, mistakes, and failures are all recorded on our skins. And just like life itself, sometimes they aren’t perfect. Sometimes they’re even tragic. But they are real. A tattoo is just ink in skin…it is up to the bearer to ascribe a meaning or value to it.“ - Horitaka

Once a fringe phenomenon, tattooing in now a full-blown cultural fact. More than 40 million people in the U.S. alone have tattoos, all with unique stories about why they chose to indelibly mark their bodies. PERMANENCE is the first book of its kind to combine photographic tattoo portraits with the stories behind them. Featuring people from all walks of life – from college students to rock stars, suburban moms to Hells Angels, gangbangers to CEO’s to pornstars – their stories are told in the subjects’ own words and handwriting.

Kip Fulbeck brings together young and old of all races, religions, and political persuasions in this visually arresting and identity-exploring book. His work explores the power of individuality, utilizing tattoos as a starting point. “Tattooing is everywhere,“ Fulbeck says. “This book deals with all facets of it…from absolute masterpieces to drunken mistakes, rites of passage and celebration to horrors of war. This book is about who we are.“

With a foreword by renowned tattooer Horitaka (senior apprentice to Horiyoshi III) and interviews with celebrity tattooers Kat Von D (LA Ink) and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo), and hardcore music legend Evan Seinfeld, PERMANENCE features images of:

Margaret Cho (Comedian, author)
Slash (Velvet Revolver, Guns N Roses)
Scott Ian (Anthrax)
Scott Weiland (Velvet Revolver, Stone Temple Pilots)
Paul Stanley (KISS)
Tera Patrick (Adult Film Star)
Chuck Liddell (UFC Hall of Fame Fighter
Johnny Winter (Blues legend)
Joan Jett (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts)
Nikole Lowe (London Ink)
Chris Garver (Miami Ink)
Jeffrey Sebelia (Project Runway)
and many others

From joyful to tragic, and impulsive to profound, PERMANENCE presents the myriad voices, emotions, and faces that make up the stories of the tattooed population today.

KIP FULBECK is the author of Part Asian, 100% Hapa (Chronicle Books) and Paper Bullets: A Fictional Autobiography. A professor of art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Kip is deeply respectful of the artistry and ritual of tattooing and proudly wears the works of Horitaka, Horitomo, and Horiyoshi III. For more information go to

HORITAKA (Takahiro Kitamura) is the author of several books on tattooing and is the owner of State of Grace Tattoo in San Jose, California. He is a senior apprentice of the world-renowned tattoo master Horiyoshi III – the master’s first and only American apprentice. He is one of the most active and well-known contemporary American tattooists, and speaks and tattoos across the country.

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