“A tattoo is a true poetic creation, and is always more than meets the eye. As a tattoo is grounded on living skin, so its essence emotes a poignancy unique to the mortal human condition.”— V. Vale and Andrea Juno, Modern Primitives.
“[A] genuine tattoo…. tells a story. I like stories and tattoos, no matter how well done, and if they don’t tell a story that involves you emotionally, then they’re just there for decoration, then they’re not a valid tattoo. There has to be some emotional appeal or they’re not, to my way of thinking, a real tattoo. It tells people what you are and what you believe in, so there’s no mistakes.”— Leo, tattooist, 1993, quoted in Margo DeMello, Bodies of Inscription, 2000.