“As the man credited with launching the contemporary tattoo and body-modification movements almost single-handedly, UC Berkeley grad V. Vale has been called a prophet. His 1989 book MODERN PRIMITIVES inspired a generation to ink, pierce, and decoratively scar itself, not to mention branding itself with hot metal and rerouting its genitals.”—Anneli Rufus, East Bay Express
“Modern Primitives is a stunning compilation, so densely packed with strange material that all adds up to something much more than a succession of mere weirdnesses — the human body as its own extreme metaphor, or the body as an extreme metaphor of its own mind. A real terminal document.” – J.G. Ballard
“I loved the introduction in your previous book, and all the introductions to the other wonderful books you’ve made. Incidentally, your last publication, Modern Primitives, was extraordinary. That was an amazing book – that was a genuine work of modern urban anthropology. It was incredible. You could have been Margaret Mead going to Samoa – it was the equivalent of that. And it was never voyeuristic. It was an extraordinary book, beautifully conceived and researched in such depth. That’s what’s so wonderful about all your publications: the depth of them – they just go on and on. Where most books end, yours are just about beginning. I mean they really are very, very impressive. You’ve produced really amazing books; there’s no question about that.” – J.G. Ballard
First published 20 years ago, “Modern Primitives” is still called “the Bible of the tattooing-piercing underground.” Here is a celebratory reprinting, complete with a new introduction by original editor/publisher V. Vale. Also added is a new community section, where current practitioners have been invited to have their cards displayed. “Modern Primitives” was the first book to investigate not only the “how” but also the “why” of body modification practices. It reaches far back into history to multiform cultural traditions to illuminate one of today’s most wide-spread youth culture visual signifiers. Heavily illustrated with detailed, contemporary photographs, as well as archival anthropological images and drawings of ancient tattoo traditions, “Modern Primitives” was ground-zero for today’s body-modification trends. “A whole new generation needs to be exposed to this foundational handbook and manifesto for the body modification generation.”—Tattoo Mike
Here’s a little Ed Hardy interview excerpt: “I fled the cloying environment of the fine arts to do tattooing, but I should have seen this coming: by giving tattooing its legitimization and status as a fine art, suddenly you’re getting into the same old crap!”
“One thing I like about the Asian tradition: you don’t give a shit about that notion of “originality”. There’s something great about surrendering part of your ego to a “greater” tradition or stream of expression.” — Ed Hardy to V. Vale, Modern Primitives
If you’re read THIS FAR, we have a few copies of the earlier paperback MODERN PRIMITIVES book autographed by Charles Gatewood (R.I.P.) and V. Vale: email us direct at firstname.lastname@example.org for price and ordering information! For Gatewood fans ONLY; only one order per customer; no wholesale! This is RARE.