Friday, June 22, 7pm – Reading
Philadelphia Fantastic Presents
author of War Paint: Tattoo Culture & the Armed Forces ($34.99 Schiffer)
For many servicemen, the battle is over, but the ink lives on. Thousands of service men and women have chosen to commemorate their military service through tattoos, a custom as old as war paint itself. Yet military tattoos go far beyond the usual anchor and eagle clichés, and are often as complex and varied as the military experience. For the first time, documentary photographer Kyle Cassidy has sought out veterans who marked their military service with a tattoo and they are shown here in all their glory: fresh, faded, sometimes intertwined with wounds, physical and otherwise. And the stories behind these tattoos, both conventional and surprising, are just as engaging. In a transient world, with shifting enemies, mores, leaders, and friends, this is a testament to the values of a permanent commemoration. The unique journey into each soldier’s story will captivate you.
Kyle Cassidy has been documenting American culture since the 1990’s. He has photographed Goths, Punks, Cutters, Politicians, Metalheads, Dominatrices, Scholars, and Alternative Fashion, in addition to less prosaic subjects. In recent years his projects have extended abroad to Romania, where he captured the lives of homeless orphans living in sewers; and to Egypt, where he reported on contemporary archaeological excavations. His publications include several books on information technology, as well as a regular appearance as contributing editor for Videomaker magazine. His Photo-A-Week blog (www.kylecassidy.com) was one of the first photo blogs on the internet and now has an average of more than 150,000 visitors a week, he also maintains a relatively exciting twitter feed @kylecassidy. Kyle’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Vanity Fair (DE), the Sunday Times of London, Marie Claire, Photographers Forum, Asleep by Dawn, Gothic Beauty and numerous other publications. His documentary photography book Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes was awarded amazon.com’s “Best 100 Books of 2007″ “Best 10 Art Books of 2007″ medals. Most recently he worked on the big book of Who Killed Amanda Palmer with Amanda Palmer (go figure) and the wonderfully talented Neil Gaiman.