Russian Criminal Tattoos.

Russian Criminal tattoosFUEL have published the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volumes I, II and III. Now for the first time the original artworks from these popular books are being exhibited. The ‘Russian Criminal Tattoo Exhibition’ features a series of photographs of prisoners and their artistic tattoos. From the cells of Russian prison settlements, Danzig Baldaev (prison guard 1948-1986) began documenting the tattoos that were etched onto criminals’ skin. The tattoos were not only works of art but laden with symbolism.

These tattoos provide a back-story to criminal pasts. A cat Artworkrepresented a thief. On a woman, a tattoo of a penis was the mark of a prostitute. Equally a criminal devoid of tattoos had little status.

The exhibition will feature 120 original drawings by Danzig Baldaev and photos by Sergei Vasiliev, whose prints will be for sale.

The exhibition will run from 29 October – 29 November at 4 Wilkes Street, London E1 6QF, Thursday to Sunday, 11am-6pm.

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