In an effort to cast light on the often unrecognized talents of tattooists in Australia and New Zealand, a small group of Melbourne artists recently banded together to publish two hardcover art books celebrating and highlighting some of area’s best ink.
John Entwistle, Tattooist: Melbourne, Australia honors one of Australia’s finest artists. With a career spanning more than four decades, Entwistle has become synonymous in the ink world for bridging the gap between older and newer generations of tattooists. With full-bleed images of his creations in color and text discussing Entwistle’s ability to thrive despite social pressure to conform and being largely unaccepted by mainstream Australia, the book presents a comprehensive overview of its subject.
The second title, Done with Electricity, by Bugsy and Adam Lockman, focuses on the top 64 tattooists working in Australia and New Zealand. According to Lockman, the book fills “a necessary gap in quality representation of the tattoos being done in this part of the world. For too long Australia has not been recognized as harboring such talent, and with books like this, it puts us squarely on the map.” The co-author goes on to validate both books, “The strength in both publications is that they skirt the fashionable side of tattooing to show the true validity and integrity of this profession. These two books demonstrate the legitimate history of this profession and that the legacy of the older generation of tattooers has been successfully and respectfully passed on to those who have followed.”