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Tattoo Uprising
A documentary by Alan Govenar

75 minutes, color, 2019

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From antiquity to the present, Tattoo Uprising reveals the artistic and historical roots of today's tattoo explosion. This sweeping overview explores how tattoos were used in early Christian practices, how they were discovered halfway around the world during the voyages of Captain James Cook, and how they exploded in popularity in America beginning with artists like Ed Hardy.

Tattoo Uprising features some of the most extraordinary people of the tattoo world including Ed Hardy, Stoney St. Clair, Cynthia Witkin, Anne de Hey! and others, as well as unforgettable appearances by filmmakers Les Blank and Werner Herzog, who allows a rare glimpse at his Ed Hardy tattoo.

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"Alan Govenar's forty-years-in-the-making documentary celebrates the art of inking human bodies. There's plenty of tattooing, the camera getting up close and personal as needles buzz into flesh, creating complicated, daring, and exquisite designs, using the human body as a living canvas." - THIS WEEK IN NEW YORK

"Wide-ranging and interesting. Ever wondered if Werner Herzog has a tattoo? Thanks to Les Blank, he does. And watching him display it during the production of Fitzcarraldo is one of the biggest draws for cinephiles in Tattoo Uprising." - John DeFore, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

"An eye-opening, engaging look at a practice that was once scorned and relegated to a few outliers of society." - Tanja M. Laden, HIGH TIMES MAGAZINE

"Gratifyingly in-depth. Govenar pulls back the veil...in this colorful, eccentric movie." - Kilian Melloy, EDGE MEDIA NETWORK

"You've probably always wanted to see Werner Herzog's tattoo, am I right? Now's your chance. Folklorist, writer, and filmmaker Alan Govenar's documentary features vintage footage of the mercurial auteur showing off his Ed Hardy design, as well as other footage dating from all the back to 1980 to the present day, and interviews with noted artists and tattoo aficionados including Hardy, Stoney St. Clair, Cynthia Witkin, and Anne de Hey!." - Leslie Combemale, AWFJ

"Revealing, electrifying, and extraordinary, Tattoo Uprising explores an oft-overlooked dimension of art history...it's utterly captivating from beginning to end, and is highly recommended." - Midwest Book Review


Ed Hardy Exhibit at San Francisco's de Young Museum


Rotten Tomatoes

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Alan Govenar & Documentary Arts

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