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13 Tattoos

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13 Tattoos

21st century

Thorsten Dennerline, American and Danish, b. born 1972

Object Type: artists_book
Medium and Support: Woodcuts and photo polymer letterpress on handmade Richard de Bas paper in hand binding in screenprinted wrapper
Edition: Number 12 from edition of 25; all printing was by the artist, with letterpress printed at Wild Carrot Letterpress (Hadley, MA).
Provenance / Collectors' Marks: The artist.
Credit Line: Heinrich Schwarz Fund, 2019
Accession Number: 2019.10.1


Artist’s commentary on this work: “Some time ago I suddenly got the urge to make a book about tattoos. I decided to think about tattoos not just as pictures or designs, but to consider them more broadly (scars, living drawing marks, body adornments, rites of passage, magic to improve the body’s function, ways to relieve or relive pain, signs of bravery, remembrances, cultural signifiers, or tribal/group markings). I also thought of the idea of drawing on skin and marking its surface as a way to be aware of it as a three-dimensional picture plane (with psychological implications). I have to admit that the associations with crime and other ‘bad’ things was enticing to me as well. This book of tattoo proposals is simply a non-linear document of my own thinking about these ideas. This book of woodblock prints and photopolymer letterpress details is printed on handmade Richard de Bas paper. —Thorsten Dennerline, The Bird Press 2011” [from]

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This object has the following keywords:
  • body art - Use for works produced since the 1960s that employ human bodies as the medium of expression; may be in the form of performance art, or the artist using his own body as a focus or theme.
  • human body - From TGM:
  • tattoos

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