“Tattoo Uprising” Chronicles The Cultural History Of Tattoos


These days, it seems like tattoos are everywhere, but the question remains: where exactly did they come from, and how did they get to where they are today? Tattoo Uprising is a new feature-length documentary that sets out to answer that question. Like a collection of tattoos on a person’s body, the film is patchwork quilt of a movie combining photos, sound bites, film clips, and video tidbits, all in an effort to chart the trajectory of tattoos throughout history and into modern society.

Spoiler alert. Filmmaker Alan Govenar first became interested in tattoos when taking a folklore class in college. To fulfill course requirements, he found himself wandering into Leonard “Stoney” St. Clair’s tattoo shop. “This was, for me, at that time, like being in the middle of a Franz Kafka novel,” says Govenar in the film. For the filmmaker, going to St. Clair’s shop became a weekly ritual for over five years, and meetings with the feisty tattoo master evolved into a book and…


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