Storie di mare sulla pelle: dall’old school al contemporaneo

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We propose an analysis of the motifs of the marine tattoo and its contemporary evolutions, keeping the relationship between subjectivity and the sea as the main theme. The corpus will consist of illustrations and photographs of bibliographic origin and will be interpreted using, in particular, the tools of semiotic analysis of the visual. The sea has a particular influence on Western tattoos, so much so that it can be considered, in many ways, its founding environment. Several sources, even primary ones, indicate the seafaring subculture as the main vector of the modern spread of tattoos that occurred on horsebackbetween the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Even in the first half of the twentieth century, especially until the Second World War and before tattoos became mainstream, the greatest experimenters were sailors and military.Norman Collins - known as 'Sailor Jerry' and credited as the main tattoo artist in the 1940s - was the watershed in the history of tattoo art by throwing the prodromes of mass tattooing. Link between the old school of the turn of the century and the new post-war body art, Sailor Jerry played a decisive role in codifying and disseminating the iconography of the sea tattoo that is now labeled as classic and attributed to the so-called old school genre. After a few decades of descent, and after the time of countercultures, the marine tattoo enjoys a new fame also thanks to the vintage boom. The media discourse on tattooing has helped to cement the relationship between tattoo and sea culture and to spread it in the generalist imagination far beyond the boundaries of body art (e.g. Popeye). Overcoming the traditional contrast between old school and new school, the relationship between tattoo and the sea is updated by recent avant-garde interpretations such as those of the Italian artist Pietro Sedda, who connects the classic tattoo repertoire with the cultured arts using remixes and quotes as commonly occurs in contemporary and 'post-modern' arts.
Lingua originaleItalian
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteIconologie del tatuaggio. Scritture del corpo e oscillazioni identitarie
Numero di pagine29
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018

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