by Sandi Fellman (Photographer and texts), D.M. Thomas (Introduction), Walton Rawls (Editor), James Wageman (Art Director), Philip Sykes (Designer)
Abbeville Press. 1986. First edition. Softcover. 250×305 mm. 120 pp. ISBN: 978-0-89659-798-3. Condition: Excellent. Dedication on the title page.
A crimson fish wrestles a man. A horned demon stares menacingly.
These vivid scenes are tattoos, created in pain, incised in the flesh of the Yakuza, and Japan’s feared secret society of gangsters. They are the visions of the Irezumi, the legendary tattoo artists who spend years creating living masterpieces. Photographer Sandi Fellman describes this strange and violent world in her text and in her stunning, large 20 x 24 inch Polaroid photographs.
About the Artist:
Sandi Fellman is a well-known photographer whose work has been featured in many one-person and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Australia. Her photographs are in numerous private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bibliotheque Nationale, and the Center for Creative Photography. Her work has also been widely published over the past fifteen years.
“American photographer Sandi Fellman used a rare large-size Polaroid camera to create these photos of Irezumi Japanese men and women who wear elaborate full-body tattoos. Fellman treats tattoos as artworks and their creators as artists. Her text touches on the tattooing process, common motifs, the sociology of the tattoo, and relationships between the tattoo masters and their clients. Author D.M. Thomas has contributed two pages of his reactions to these unusual and disturbing images. The 46 color plates in this volume, most of them whole body nudes, should prove provocative, fascinating, or repellant to a wide variety of library patrons.” —Library Journal