Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

'Tattoo Nation' doc explores body art's journey from taboo to trendy (Photos)

by Leo Duran with Michelle Lanz | Take Two®

Actor Danny Trejo sits for a tattoo in the documentary, "Tattoo Nation." Courtesy Tattoo Nation Movie

One in five Americans have a tattoo, and although is quite common to sport ink, it wasn't always so. For years, tattoos were considered a sign of rebellion — meant for the likes of sailors and criminals.

The new documentary "Tattoo Nation" explores how the tattoo has evolved from an fringe practice to an elevated art form and how southern California played a key role in that evolution.

Corey Miller, the film's narrator and owner of the Upland tattoo shop Six Feet Under joins the show. 

"Tattoo Nation" opens at the ArcLight in Los Angeles on Friday April 5. Click here for ticket information


We know a lot of you out there have ink of your own, probably each with its own story and significance. We want to hear about them! Share with with us in the comments below, on our Facebook page or tweet us a pic and story @taketwo.

Host Alex Cohen has some ink of her own. Below are three with special significance:

Left: Heart and horseshoe: "I got this one in Oakland in 2001 by a fantastic artist named Scott Silvia. I had fallen in love with my then boyfriend, now husband. I felt very lucky in love  - thus the heart and horseshoe. Updated in 2012 with the letter R by artist Andrew Moore."
Right: Horseshoe and ladybug – "I got this one in Pasadena in 2012 by artist Andrew Moore. This one celebrates my beautiful daughter Eliza, my ladybug, hence the E hidden in the ladybug. Not yet 2, Eliza has already developed a deep love of tattoos, temporary ones, of course."

Alex's first tattoo: Rose and moon: "I got this one when I was 17 at a tattoo shop in San Francisco’s Mission District. I lied and said I was 18 so I could get it. It was done by a female artist – and there weren’t many of those around back then. It does have some personal meaning to me, but looking at it now it seems so juvenile and rinky dink. Have been considering covering it for years!"

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