Vintage Tattoo Flash is a one-of-a-kind visual exploration of the history and evolution of tattooing in America. A luscious, offset-printed, hardcover tome-a beautiful and serious addition to the understanding of one of the world's oldest and most popular art forms.
Jonathan Shaw is a world traveling outlaw artist, novelist, blogger, head doctor, anti-folk hero, whorehouse philosopher, legendary tattoo master, and notorious innovator and creator of underground art. Shaw was born in NY to big band legend Artie Shaw and movie star Doris Dowling, and was raised in LA where he learned to tattoo on the legendary Pike boardwalk from old-school California masters. After running with the likes of Jim Morrison, the Manson Family, and Charles Bukowski, he fell prey to heroin addiction and a life of crime. He finally left 1970s Hollywood to travel the world and founded Fun City, the first street tattoo shop in NYC since tattooing was decriminalized in the 1960s.
"Few have dipped so deeply or functioned so extensively in the cultural underbelly of our world than the notorious artist and adventurer, Jonathan Shaw." -Robert Williams "Ranks with the best." -Johnny Depp "A living example of human indestructibility that is hard to surpass." -Eugene Hutz (Gogol Bordello) "Bold and striking images." -Kat Von D. "An American classic, a traditionalist discarding history." -JUXTAPOZ "Jonathan Shaw is an acknowledged master craftsman of the present era." -SECONDS "Jonathan Shaw (is) a subversive and criminal inhabitant of the world of human expression." -Jim Jarmusch ''Jonathan Shaw is a shameless evildoer.'' -Marilyn Manson ''Jonathan Shaw is the great nightmare anti-hero of the new age.'' -Iggy Pop "The images in the book, much like the bodies of those whose skin they adorned, read like a history of the cultural concerns of the time--from early nautical and military themes of patriotism and seafaring to the popular cartoon characters of a given era and our ever-shifting views on death, birth, and sex." --Esquire "The pieces in Vintage Tattoo Flash come from the last century, but the highest concentration of work is from the 1900s to the 1960s. They represent much of the familiar iconography of American tattooing: ships, half-dressed women, birds of prey, panthers, daggers, roses, and, yes, hearts emblazoned with mom. What's fascinating to see, by leafing through Shaw's collection, is how the art form has evolved in the last hundred years. By the 1950s and '60s, the Sailor Jerry-esque American traditional designs begin to shift into different territory, influenced by other styles of tattooing: a touch of traditional Japanese here, a hint of realism there." --Men's Journal As seen on: The Guardian Graphics LA Weekly Ponyboy Magazine