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It Is What It Is: Tattooing the Brooklyn Way

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It Is What It Is: Tattooing the Brooklyn Way

Peter Caruso

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Trace the evolution of the Brooklyn tattooing scene’s iconographic status with this rare look into the borough’s gritty history. Long before hipsters called Brooklyn home, tattoo legends like Tony Polito, Mikey Perfetto, Marcus Pacheco, and Ronnie Dell’Aquila set long-lasting trends from the ’50s on, and gave young artists hope in this often unforgiving town. Peter Caruso visits over a dozen owners, artists, and customers, relating Brooklyn’s 20th-century tattoo history through biographies of gritty, no-nonsense tattoo artists. Here, they get the attention they deserve as they focus on events that shaped their craft and style and what inspired them, as teenagers, to follow the path of this often thankless profession in New York’s toughest borough. “Back in the day,” artists didn’t apprentice, but, like the men in this book, learned the ropes in basements and worked out of kitchens, sometimes experimenting with Asian and tribal styles, but always returning to the colorful, traditional, American tattooing Brooklyn is known for.

Size: 9 1/8″ x 8 1/8″ | 398 color photos | 144 pp
ISBN13: 9780764347870 | Binding: hard cover

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Peter was born and raised and currently resides in Benson-Hurst, Brooklyn. He got his first tattoo when he was 15. After managing and apprenticing in Paul Raffello’s shop for three years, he began his tattooing career.