Russian Tattoo book

I went in to a museum of art and came out with a book on Russian Criminal Tattoos...
Anyway, what interested me were not the tattoos, though they are art pieces, interesting, scary and intriguing. What caught my eye was the photos of the people wearing them.
The photos are taken inside Russian jails and they tell so much of the state of the society they live in.
They show us the criminals of the street, many of them looks insane and they remind me strongly of photos from the beginning of last century made of patients. Those pictures were made for doctors case studies. These photos of Russian criminals show people on the edge of life, society and sanity. The photographer is conscious of his power to shine just a little spotlight on the people and the temptation to receive just those minutes, puts them in a vulnerable position. They are showing off their tattoos, but the voyeuristic camera lens undresses them and shows instead of cool tattoos the fragile person. To put these people into the context of the news we get from Russia lately, broadens at least my view of the country and the state it is in.
If you want to see more of this book it is made by Steidl in three volumes. I happened to buy the second one.

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