Musical Ink is a really, really neat book. It starts out with an interview with tattoo artist Kat Von D where they discuss musicians with tattoos and how many have them because it is a job that kind of lends itself to that sort of culture. Then it goes in to the portraits – where there is 1 page that is an image of the musician and then the next page focuses on one of their tattoos close up. (Many of the artists could probably have a book of just them talking about their own tattoos they have so many!) They talk about why they got it, what it means to them, the story around how they got it and where, etc which are all really interesting. Some of these have really, really deep meanings and that is really interesting to read about.
Then there are bios table of contents which talks a bit about each of the musicians and when they were photographed for the book. And then some more on the equipment that was used to capture the photos (they are all really great photos!)
Definitely a really interesting read and something that I wouldn’t mind reading more about with other musicians (or even hearing about some of these musicians other tattoos!)
I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.
About the Book
Musical Ink is a portrait project from Toronto-based photographer Jon Blacker that spotlights 62 musicians and their tattoos. This exciting volume of imagery not only has something for every musical taste – featured artists range in genre from heavy metal to hip hop and opera – the tattoo styles include elaborate sleeves, creative one points, and traditional Japanese themes. Each portrait is photographed in black and white using a special infrared camera, which allows the tattoos to truly stand out from the skin because while infrared light largely reflects off of skin, it is absorbed by the tattoo ink, creating a great deal of contrast between the almost glowing, ethereal appearance of the skin and the deep blacks and greys of the tattoos. But Musical Ink goes more than skin deep and focuses on the personal meanings of the artists’ body art, be it a deep personal reflection or simply a great funny story. This outstanding collection of images, including artists like Dave Navarro, Chad Smith, and Sammy Hagar, is ideal for music lovers, tattoo aficionados and artists, and photographers.
Jon Blacker is a portrait and music photographer best known for his lightning-fast location and live concert work. He has been hiding behind the camera for more than 20 years. He lives in Toronto with his girlfriend, her son, and their neurotic cat.