Permanence is a pictorial compilation of tattoos on real-life people paired with explanations, stories, and justifications written in the individual’s own words and handwriting. Some people get tattoos for a reason, others “just because”; some people have tattoos that mark a specific time, person, or circumstance, others are random. None are forgettable. Kip Fulbeck, an artist with a love for ink, has put together the images and stories of many people – from college student to celebrity – showing how tattoos represent our culture. Rather than giving the reader a full history of how and when people began putting and accepting ink into their bodies, or discussing how tattoos went from underground to mainstream, or questioning (or defending) tattooing as an art form, Fulbeck instead simply allows individuals to express what their tattoos mean – or don’t mean – to them, including interviews with individuals like tattoo artist Kat Von D. The purpose of this book is not to encourage or discourage tattooing, and the adults interviewed do not necessarily censor their words. Permanence is an open forum that allows readers – those with tattoos and without, those thinking about getting one, and those who never will – a glimpse into a cross-section of the tattoo culture.
Recommended to high school readers and adults with an interest in tattoos and art and the cultural relevance of both.
Call number: YA 391.65 FUL (with adult nonfiction)
Reviewed by kate the librarian
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