All photos © Alex MacNaughton. Above: Justin O’Grady, age 21.
Alex MacNaughton decided to create his new book London Tattoos (Prestel), because he felt previous books on tattoos were overly stylized and told readers very little about the people who wore the artwork. “Quite often the people bearing the tattoos couldn’t be recognized as individuals,” MacNaughton says. London Tattoos on the other hand, was shot and presented in a clean, minimalist style, and the first photograph of each subject presented in the book is pulled back, showing them in their everyday clothing, which often hides their elaborate body art. MacNaughton also includes several details showing the tattoos close-up, and short quotes from subjects about their tattoos, what they mean to them, and what they think about the culture surrounding tattoos, provide further background. (more…)