I've always been fascinated by the world of body art and last week I delved into the secret world of Russian criminals and their love for body art. Left is my latest read featuring over 3000 tattoos collected by prison attendant Danzig Baldaev and represents the recordings of a closed society, the artful documentation of Russian convict.
Naturally all I want to do now is re-watch Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises and see how many of his tattoos I can recognise! The tattoos that he wore were, according to the New York Daily News, so realistic, that diners in a Russian restaurant in London fell silent out of fear until Mortensen revealed his identity and admitted the tattoos were for a film. From that day on he washed off his tattoos whenever he went off the set.
"I talked to...(authentic gangsters)...about what they meant and where they were on the body, what that said about where they'd been, what their specialties were, what their ethnic and geographical affiliations were," Mortensen says. "Basically their history, their calling card, is their body."