Social media is full of them. Beautiful women with tattoos taking selfies and showing off their art and, very often, as much of their tattooed bodies as the host site will allow. Self-professed models in search of likes, shares and followers. I find it all a bit tiresome. Three hundred selfies and 50,000 followers does not a model make.
However, this does tell us one thing, if nothing else. There are an awful lot of guys who want to look at beautiful women with tattoos, though how many are admiring the art before the arse is another question.
If only they weren’t all the same. If only it wasn’t so tediously predictable. If only there was actually some artistic merit to the photography to go with the artistic merit of the skin.
Which brings me to Christian Saint.
Christian Saint is a photographer from Brooklyn, New York with 20 years of commercial photography experience under his belt. Celebrities, fine art and professional advertisements count among the areas he has worked and in 2015 he turned his lenses toward this very area. Beautiful, tattooed women…wearing not much if anything.
His book “Tattoo Super Models” published by Goliath Books, was launched and with it came a challenge to the conventional wisdom that tattooed women were some how unattractive. Well, to say he challenged that notion is an understatement…he smashed it.
Those of a certain age will remember the famous Pirelli Calendars…twelve months of naked women but naked women tastefully done. Pirelli didn’t do tacky and neither does Christian Saint. His images are sexy without being sleazy, they are alluring in a way that doesn’t have you stuffing the book under a cushion if somebody walks in the room. The women are naked, they are heavily tattooed, they are beautiful but then so is the photography. This is photographic art as it should be. A photograph of a naked woman can be sexy without leaving you needing to rush off somewhere quiet for five minutes (you know what I mean, chaps!).
“Tattooed Super Models” was a thing of beauty, an artistic feast. You could leave this on the coffee table and not panic if your mum/wife/girlfriend picked it up.
Three years on and Christian has been at it again. Next month sees the launch of his new book, “Tattooed Beauties”, also published by Goliath Books. The title is one of those, “it does what it says on the tin” things and I expect more of the same but obviously different. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to review the finished article (because I have a professional interest, you understand, not because a book full naked tattooed women is my thing..ahem, cough).
Naked women have fascinated the art world as long as there have been paint brushes, sculptors’ chisels, pencils and cameras and, regardless of the increasingly sensitive and politically correct world we abide in, they always will. There will always be the Hugh Hefners of the world treading the line between art and titillation and there will always be those willing to throw art out of the window and focus purely on sleaze.
It all depends on whether you want a 1984 Ford Fiesta or a Rolls Royce…The Daily Sport or Christian Saint. As with everything else in world you get what you pay for and, personally, I prefer high class over low cost.
Christian Saint’s work is not a 1984 Ford Fiesta.