Tattoo’s date back to the earliest days of civilizations. However, excitingly, in the 80’s tattooing and body piercing became a standard procedure, and part-and-parcel of our culture. Despite its somewhat negative connotation decorating and styling our bodies became an accepted and thrilling way of displaying ourselves.
The meaning behind art is subjective, however we can provide an overarching universal interpretation. Body-art to some degree symbolizes body ownership. The feeling of ownership and autonomy is real. It gives us the liberation to design ourselves despite the stigma and social conformity. Perhaps, precisely because of the stigmatization the tattooing is an indication of power. Our body represents choice and freedom of our individual expression and through design we reflect our will.
The return of our fluffy mind-of-thought back into our physical body of groundedness and work is essential. Like a massage, sex, and deep breathing which helps us connect to our organs, the tattoo represents a body-ego orientation. The analyst D. W. Winnicott, in “Mind and Psyche-Soma” explains how the body-ego is a healthy ego center of the soma. The imprint of ink-art displays and symbolizing our central apparatus of being and functioning.
Body-ink can link ourselves and others to the past, present and future. The tattoo signifies a co-creation between us and an external person: an idea, concept, and object. We share and connect to some idea or person and internalize it. The needling is internalization and the tattoo serves as an on-going reminder of unity of being with self others.