Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…


September 9th, 2010 by

I think it’s time to celebrate.  I mean it.  Crack open a few brews, or if you don’t drink or are too young to drink, get some grape juice or something – hell you might even want to get a new tattoo, because in all honesty, I think that the rights of and respect for tattoo artists have just taken a huge leap as of this Thursday.

A few months back I wrote about tattooist Johnny Anderson, who was prevented from opening a tattoo studio in Hermosa Beach, California.  City officials there had said that Hermosa Beach does not permit tattoo studios within the city limits.  Anderson took the matter to court, saying that his First Amendment rights were being violated by not allowing him to open his tattoo shop where he wanted to.  On Thursday, the ruling was entirely in his favour.

‘”Tattooing is a process like writing words down or drawing a picture, except that it is performed on a person’s skin,” the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Thursday in striking down an anti-tattoo parlor law from the Los Angeles suburb of Hermosa Beach.

“A form of speech does not lose First Amendment protection based on the kind of surface it is applied to,” said Judge Jay Bybee, writing for a unanimous panel of three Republican appointees.

He described tattooing as “one of the oldest forms of human expression” and “one of the world’s most universally practiced forms of artwork.”‘

Honestly, I couldn’t be happier about this.  What a huge boost of confidence to tattoo artists everywhere, and what a great day for the entire industry.  The more that the law stands on the side of tattoo culture, the more it will be an art form that is removed from the fringes of society and seen as a legitimate career, art form and method of self expression.  So raise your glasses in a toast to Johnny Anderson and in celebration of justice served.  Have a great weekend, everyone.

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