Friday, November 5, 2010

Russian Criminal Tattoos, London Exhibits, and My Growing Christmas List

The following are some really interesting photographs I found by Sergei Vasiliev and drawings by Danzig Baldaev documenting the tattoos of Russian criminals and their secret meanings. They are a part of an upcoming exhibit in London. The Brits are just so cool.

Danzig Baldaev was a prison in the Gulag from 1948 to 1986, and in that time period he accumulated over 3,000 sketches and drawings from inmates. He compiled all these drawings into three books, Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volume I, Volume II, Volume III. I'm adding these to my Christmas list along with those constellation prints. The photographs were taken by Vasiliev over the span of 1989-1993 in reform settlements and prisons all over Russia.

Unfortunately this exhibit is in London right now, but you can check out some of the photos and illustrations on display there by scrolling down. If I ever run out of ruffians to paint, I'll just refer to one of these photos. These guys are way scarier than anyone I know!

- Amy
Listening to: Bad Religion's "Sorrow"

[ "Print No. 1" ]

[ "Print No. 5" ]

[ "Print No. 7" ]

[ "Print No. 9" ]

[ "Print No. 10" ]

[ "Print No. 11" ]

[ "Print No. 12" ]

[ "Print No. 13" ]

[ "Print No. 15" ]

[ "Print No. 16" ]


  1. I love great tattoos, and I have a few. However, dear Amy, please tell me you are not planning to do that to yourself.

  2. Don't worry JJ - I don't plan on getting any of these! I think I have to have killed someone to get one anyways.


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