A documentary about tattooing, shot in a Denver tattoo parlor. The artists talk about their work and about the changing cultural significance of tattoos.

01:09Copy video clip URL Brief opening clip: “I think tattooing is a piece of art. I just went into the shop one day and wanted to get tattooed, and that’s how I got into it.”

01:17Copy video clip URL Title card: Tattow by Jean Schiff & Pat Lehman. 1974. Edited by Pat Lehman. 

01:29Copy video clip URL Close-up of a man’s arm tattoo and of designs on the wall of a tattoo shop. 

02:13Copy video clip URL Discussion of past tattoos between tattoo artists. One man pulls down his past to show a large thigh tattoo that he gave to himself. The difficulties of giving oneself a tattoo. 

04:22Copy video clip URL Discussion of a rabbit tattoo that an artist gave himself, in which his “navel was the rabbit’s asshole.” 

05:49Copy video clip URL Close-up of signs and designs on the wall. 

06:12Copy video clip URL Discussion of upcoming tattoo designs. 

06:53Copy video clip URL Discussion of the machines used by tattoo artists. Caring about one’s work as a tattoo artist, and careless artists they’d worked with in the past. 

09:18Copy video clip URL Being able to continue working as a tattoo artists until one’s vision goes. Simple and cheap tattoos.

11:00Copy video clip URL Complex color schemes in tattoos. The variety of ink colors used. 

12:30Copy video clip URL Introducing tattoo artist Jim Hart, wearing a t-shirt reading “Tattoo Art – See me.” Hart prepares to administer a tattoo while behind the camera videomaker Pat Lehman talks with a female tattoo artist about the biggest, smallest, and most unusual tattoos she’s ever seen, as well as the unusual places on the body that she’s seen or performed. She observes that they do a lot of unusual tattoos and mentions a recent design of a “skull puking” adorned with the words “Eat it!”

14:40Copy video clip URL The most expensive piece at the shop is a full back design of a gorgon that costs $1000. 

15:00Copy video clip URL The growth of popularity of tattooing, though the artist notes that there is still a great deal of timidity among customers. 

15:15Copy video clip URL The cheapest tattoo is “probably to have your name written, for five dollars.” 

15:25Copy video clip URL The expenses, machinery, and training required to be a tattoo artist. An artist discusses his background as a painter. Discussion of the amount of customers. 

16:30Copy video clip URL Women coming in for tattoos as frequently as men, typically for smaller tattoos than men. A woman in a tank top shows off a small tattoo on her chest. 

16:58Copy video clip URL Tattooing being illegal in New York City because of a past hepatitis outbreak. Precautions against infecting customers. 

18:30Copy video clip URL The greatest tattoo artists being in Japan, where “it’s more like consulting a surgeon.” 

20:00Copy video clip URL The older, pre-1930s styles of tattoos in America. Captain Coleman bringing Asian motifs into American tattoo culture. The last 10 years seeing an influx of young artists creating new styles and new designs. 

21:08Copy video clip URL There not being a singular type of person who gets a tattoo, “it goes from prisoners to presidents.” Tattoos being “an outlet” for prisoners and for marines and people in the navy. People getting tattoos to “make a statement.”

23:01Copy video clip URL A tattoo artist shows off some of his tattoos and identifies the artists who made them, including Cliff Raven in Chicago. Current inks fading less than older kinds of ink. 

23:50Copy video clip URL Forearm or bicep being the best place for a tattoo on the body for men. More difficult areas including wrists, hands, and armpits, which are very painful and more prone to getting messed up. 

24:52Copy video clip URL Half-joking speculation that the full moon brings more people into the tattoo shop. The impact of holidays on customer traffic. 

25:25Copy video clip URL Stigma previously attached to tattoos starting to disappear.

25:4Copy video clip URL The meaning of specific tattoo designs for sailors. Anecdote about people in the navy who tattooed “fuck you” on their lips so that the navy would allow them to grow mustaches to cover up their tattoo. 



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