Black & Grey Tattoo explores a monochrome art form through a kaleidoscope of the most widely diverse interpretations and craftsmanly techniques, performed by tattoo artists from all parts of the world. This tattoo tome explores the origins of black & grey tattooing -- from the prisons and streets of LA to its contemporary resonance on Hollywood's red carpets, at heavy metal music fests, and in private ateliers from Budapest to Beijing. While rendered solely in shades of grade, the spectrum of design is vast: Aztec warriors, fierce harpies, family portraits, religious icons and permanent shrines to celebrities adorn these pages. The common thread among them all is their inventive exposition and mastery of execution.
The first volume, Traditional Black & Grey is somewhat of a misnomer as it's simply called "black & grey" in the tattoo community. But now that greyscale tattooing has moved in different artistic directions, the "traditional" label is used to set it apart from its offshoots. Traditional black & grey denotes tattoo art that has stayed true to its roots -- a time when homemade machines made of cassette motors and guitar strings dipped in India ink and wash were used to mark skin. The essence of black & grey art is captured in the photography of co-author Edgar Hoill. Select imagery, with quotes from the artists and collectors, leads this volume followed by interviews with Jack Rudy, the Godfather of Black & Grey; as well as tattoo prodigy Jesus "Chuey" Quintanar. Their stories and tattoo work precede the gallery, which includes tattoos from other pioneers of the style: Freddy Negrete, Brian Everett, and Mark Mahoney.