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    The High Divide

    Lin Enger 9781616203757


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Tahiti Tattoos

Tahiti Tattoos Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When the French edition of Vogue sent Gian Paolo Barbieri to Tahiti on a photo assignment, what he discovered was more than just an exotic island. It was as if a promise made in his childhood had finally been delivered. Like many another boy reader, he had sailed the southern seas under captains such as Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson, James Cook or Somerset Maugham, dreaming his way through far-off realms of adventure. For most people, those dream voyages founder long before they genuinely traverse the seven seas, but Barbieri's good fortune was not only to have retained his vision of paradise intact but also to have kept the ability to return to his own age of innocent wonder.

And so he discovered his love of Polynesia, of the people of Tahiti and their culture, and of a language that remains incomprehensible to most outsiders: that of Polynesian tattoos. This art, which for some time seemed poised for oblivion, today once again bears living witness to a fascinating culture. Raymond Graffe initiated Barbieri into the mysteries of tattoos, mysteries normally hidden from European eyes.

"On my right wrist," writes Barbieri, "I bear a small tattoo as a token of my longing for Tahiti, the earthly paradise." Ever since childhood he had had a notion that this paradise existed: "As a boy I didn't have much money, but what I had I spent almost entirely on art reproductions, in a small shop that seemed to me at that time like the Louvre. I still have those cards; most of them showed works by Gauguin." The paintings of Paul Gauguin, and Noa Noa, the memior of his first journey to Tahiti which he published in Paris in 1897, put the Society Islands firmly on the map of collective yearning a full century ago, and Gauguin's impressions went with Barbieri as he photographically rediscovered a world the rest of us may recognize from dreams.

Michel Tournier's sensitive introduction analyses why tattooing in the western world is a fundamentally different phenomenon from tattooing in Polynesia. And through this polarity he brings home to us the full, unfamiliar meaning of Polynesia's "language of the skin."

Product Details

Barbieri, Gian Paolo
Benedikt Taschen Verlag
Popular Culture
Pictorial works
Tattoos, Mehndi, & Body Painting
Series Volume:
No. 1
Publication Date:
126 p.
13.24x10.78x.85 in. 3.43 lbs.

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Tattooing
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Crafts » Body Art
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Crafts » Locked Case

Tahiti Tattoos
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$ In Stock
Product details 126 p. pages Benedikt Taschen Verlag - English 9783822877630 Reviews:
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