Tattoos date back many thousands of years, which explains why they are revered the world over as an art form and as a cultural movement. In fact, there exists firm evidence that tattooing is an ancient art form, after discoveries of tattoos on mummified skin were found. The oldest evidence of human tattoos is believed to be from between 3370 BC and 3100 BC.
Our “tattoo”tude prides itself in being a part of this ever-evolving global wave, that keeps adding new dimensions as it grows the world over.
Throughout the 1950s, tattoos became a reflection of masculinity. An era where ‘bad boys’ were known to sport them. The decade also saw an increase in the popularity of chest tattoos.
The 60s saw an increase of tattooed idols in the media, with famous musicians, especially in the West, going under the needle. It was also a time when patriotic tattoos dropped in popularity, owing to the Vietnam war. The classic skull and crossbones designs become particularly popular, especially among bikers, which later led to them becoming popular with the likes of notorious biker gangs like the Hell’s Angels.
The 1970s saw tattoos really becoming more mainstream and popular. No longer were they considered as a form of expression reserved for the outcasts of society. Peace symbols and messages of peace were particularly popular in this decade, a phenomenon that resulted from post-war aftermath. The 70s also saw a new style, with detailed and intricate designs, gaining popularity, led by youngsters heralding a new age – of counterculture.
The decade of rebellion – when tattoos got bigger and brighter still. Bold black outlines, Celtic knots, and colorful motif designs rose in prominence. The music scene also impacted the flourishing tattoo industry, particularly rock and roll, as rock stars and popstars fuelled the revolution further.
Just like in the 1980s, celebrities played a big part in the main tattoo trends of the 90s. Iconic tattoos, tribal designs and other forms became popular, as cultural influences blended into one another, to spring new sub-genres, that were adopted and perfected in time.
The beginning of the 21st century saw lower back tattoos increase in popularity. The so-called “tramp stamp” became one of the most fashionable places for women to get tattoos, in a time when lower back tattoos were considered provocative. Then again, making a bold expression has always been at the epicentre of the tattoo experience.
2010s have seen trends related to both the design and the placement of tattoos. Small tattoos in unusual places, like the fingers or behind the ears gained in popularity, and so did quirky and creative designs.
The tattoo culture now seamlessly mingles with other art forms like b-boying, the graffiti movement, the exploding music scene, and continues to spark an art renaissance on a global level. Needless to say, tattoo“tude” is here to stay. Now and forever.