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Part of being a celebrity is having every detail of your life opened up to the attention of the public. With the rise in popularity of body art, and the lessening of the stigmatic perception of things like tattoos and piercings, those who enjoy celebrity watching now scrutinize every little inking and puncture of their favorite stars. The first Western celebrities to make tattoos fashionable were the British upper class in the late 1800s. Family crests and other small signets were popular on forearms.
What is often considered a tattoo Renaissance began in the 1960s, with Western artist Sailor Jerry corresponding with Japanese tattooists, and soon-to-be-tattooist Ed Hardy getting a fine art degree. As surely as the ideas of art and tattoo finally fused, so did tattoo and celebrity.
More often, musicians and athletes get to have more freedom with their images than actors, and you will find more body art in those realms of celebrity than with actors. Having to transform into a different character each time can be limiting when you have definitive body art yourself. Most often actors have temporary body art, wearing theatrical tattoos for specific characters. However you will find the occasional actor who marches to the beat of their own tune and doesn't mind having their tattoos painted out for various character roles. Angelina Jolie is probably the most tattooed Academy Award winning actress to date. She has tribal dragons, a Thai tiger, and various Latin sayings across her shoulders and arms. Actor Johnny Depp ranks as heavily tattooed for his caliber of talent and breadth of acting work. His tattooed arms are as often painted to be blank flesh as left with their own tattoos showing and incorporated into the character.
For movies with fantastic tattoos, all you have to do it hit your rental source of choice and many a fantastic set of tattoos can be yours for the viewing. The movie xXx (Triple X) brought tattoos out of the realm of the villian and put them all over the hero for once. As Xander Cage, actor Vin Diesel is covered with a mix of modern tattoos styles, as befitting an underground extreme sports enthusiast turned government secret agent. X has one full sleeve, one partial sleeve, chest work, stomach tattoos and a wardrobe that shows it all off.
As the post-modern vampire slayer BLADE, Wesley Snipes has tribal blackwork on his arms, chest and back, as well as the sides of his head and the back of his nect. The Daywalker's tattoos echo the curving, barbed silver weapons that he uses to dispatch his quarry. Pamela Anderson had her arm tattooed for real with a barbed wire armband for her role in the movie BARBWIRE. Following her split from husband Tommy Lee, she had the "Tommy" tattoo on her finger edited to read "Mommy" in reference to her two sons. She also has a tribal piece on the small of her back and a tattoo on her ankle.
To see more celebrity tattoos, you might like
Tattoo Nation: Portraits of Celebrity Body Art by Rolling Stone, David Ritz or you might like
Celebrity Skin: Tattoos, Brands, and Body Adornments of the Stars by Jim Gerard
Content copyright © 2013 by Rae Schwarz. All rights reserved.
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