I was around 11 years old the first time I saw a guy getting a tattoo. The shop was on the Boardwalk at Coney Island. I remember staring through the window as the cigar-chomping artist worked. I don't remember what the tattoo looked like, but I do remember thinking there was something really special happening: this guy had just changed his body. The picture on his arm was going to be there forever!
Did that have anything to do with this photo projects? Who knows, but a few years back I started shooting the world of body arts. I photographed people on the street, at tattoo conventions, in private clubs and corporate offices.
Tattooing of late has also attracted some truly talented artists; in other generations, they surely would have chose a different medium. Now we find them applying ink to living human skin. I am consistently amazed at the range, intensity, and complexity of the art work. Smart people who concern themselves with such things have written lots about why people do it. Me, I think people get tattooed because they can.
I find the subject enthralling. I've met some really intertesting people, and have fun doing it!