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Once upon a time, before the advent of the indie rocker and the alternative chick, before primitivism became a style trend and tattoo parlors set up shop on the good avenues, tattoos were the secret language of a restricted world, a world of criminals. The photographs, drawings and texts published here are part of a collection of 3,600 tattoos accumulated over a lifetime by prison attendant Danzig Baldayev. Tattoos were his entrance into a secret world, a world in which he acted as an ethnographer, recording the rituals of a closed society. The icons and tribal languages he documented are artful, distasteful, sexually explicit and sometimes just simply strange, reflecting as they do the lives and mores of convicts. Skulls, swastikas, harems of naked women, a smiling Al Capone, assorted demons, medieval knights in armor, daggers sheathed in blood, benign images of Christ, mosques and minarets, sweet-faced mothers and their babies, armies of tanks, and a horned Lenin--these are the signs with which this hidden world of people mark and identify themselves.
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A book that uncovers a secret language of the body that existed long before hipsters discovered primitivism. -- Flash Art
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Book Description Steidl, Germany, 2003. Cloth. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Unused pristine copy bound in red cloth with black title and ornament. Dust jacket is unclipped, protected in removable mylar, and also pristine. Photos, drawings, and texts are part of a collection of more than 3000 tattoos accumulated over a lifetime by a prison attendant. They are artful, distasteful, sexually explicit, and strange. Russian criminal tattoos are a means of secret communication, proclaiming status, attitude, and protest. Seller Inventory # 2080140088
Book Description Steidl, 2003. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M3882439203
Book Description Steidl, 2003. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # MB00ZM32ZOY
Book Description Steidl, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P113882439203
Book Description Steidl, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 3882439203n