Statistically, almost a fifth of all people with a tattoo regret their tattoo at some point, says the introduction to Tattooed Beauties, photographer Christian Saint’s second book for Goliath.
One would hope that this doesn’t apply to too many of the models in the book’s 256 ‘junior A4’ pages. After all, most of them have spent an inordinate amount of time (and presumably money) bringing their bodies to the advanced stages of decoration exhibited therein.
To my eternal shame, I had not been aware of Christian Saint’s massive importance to the documenting of inked flesh until a review copy of his first Goliath book, Tattoo Super Models, arrived in the post in December 2015.
As I admitted at the time, his mastery of the genre was a revelation — a reflection no doubt of the fact that this tattoo work, then produced exclusively for Tattoo Life mag, was an adjunct to his ‘day job’ as a professional advertising, celebrity and fine art photographer.
Tattoo Super Models was a retrospective collection of his work for Tattoo Life up to 2015. For the next three years after its publication, he focused primarily on producing new images of some 50 gorgeous tattooed women from around the world for Tattooed Beauties, its follow-up.
It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. And somebody else has to review the results — poor me.
There is great tattoo art and there are beautiful women. Christian Saint is in the privileged position of being able to combine the two in every tattoo image he shoots.
A lot of his models get totally naked for this purpose, while others wear hardly more than wisps of lingerie. So what you get with Tattooed Beauties is essentially Fine Art nude glamour photography plus-plus-plus.
Also, it’s good to see that pages at the end provide both an index of the models in page order (much easier to use than a traditional alphabetical index) and also an extensive credits page for the 170-plus tattoo artists whose work is featured in the book.
This shows an appropriate level of respect for the artists and models, and also awareness of how
I suppose sociologists or anthropologists might look through this book and ponder on why so many women who are already ‘aesthetically pleasing specimens’ would choose to externally redecorate, so to speak.
There are probably at least as many different explanations for this as there are models in Tattooed
Beauties. Personally I don’t let this bother me any more than I worry about why people are latex fetishists or bondage enthusiasts.
In saying this, I am not trying to equate fetish or BDSM tastes directly with an interest in ink, as the latter is not intrinsically sexually motivated.
But there is plenty of evidence that people interesting in having tattoos or other types of body modification do frequently also relate to some aspects of fetish culture — and vice versa.
Which is why I’m confident that many Fetishistas followers will find this book an extremely desirable artefact to own. And I totally agree that if there’s one book that should be displayed in a tattoo studio as a serious reference work, it’s this one. TM
BELOW: Click a preview then click a thumbnail to view Tattooed Beauties album and start slideshow
Published January 23, 2019