Body art, practised across all world cultures and throughout history, is the most intimate art form, linking the self, the senses, and the social and political. In recent years, it has proliferated in an unprecedented way, borrowing motifs and practices from many different traditions. What is it that these new and borrowed body arts do, and what do they tell us about the global culture that we now inhabit? Nicholas Thomas explores these questions and many more in this wide- ranging survey of body arts from prehistoric origins to the present. He illuminates their role in expressing cultural identity; their associations with ritual, theatricality, criminality and beauty; and their recent resurgence via the Modern Primitive movement and in the work of contemporary artists. More than 180 illustrations chronicle the diversity of body arts, from painting and scarification to footbinding, Russian prison tattoos, Harlem drag balls and the inked designs worn by celebrities such as Tupac Shakur and David Beckham. For everyone with any interest in the subject, Body Art offers an intelligent celebration of this quintessentially human art form.
Series: World of Art
Number of Pages: 208
Publication Date: 13 Oct 2014
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 21(H) x 15(L)
Weight (gm): 450
Reveals the historical origins of many designs you might see while walking around the giant body art gallery that is the contemporary western city.
Nicholas Thomas is Professor of Historical Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Among his previous books are Oceanic Art in the World of Art series and Islanders: the Pacific in the Age of Empire, which won the Wolfson History Prize in 2010.