On Dragon Tattoos

Like everyone else on the planet, I am reading Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and it is making me think a lot about how men treat women in our world. I cannot help but be disappointed in evolution when I see the aggressive, dominating nature of man at its ugliest in a bar or on the street, and Larsson’s novel reflects that in a blunt fashion. Before V. left, we went to see the Swedish film version, and I have to admit that the visual imagery has stuck in my subconscious visual reference zone; the cool lighting, the starkness, really drew me in.

Since Japan I have been working on taking a dragon image from Nijo Castle and turning it into some that will match the black cut-out style of my tattoos. The particular challenge was to reduce the shading complexities of the artist’s rendition, of which was a scanned print, and turned that into a simpler version in Photoshop. Yesterday, I was able to filter the image down through combinations of sharpening, High Pass, burning and deleting to the stripped version above. It is the one I am going to go with, if the artist can do that with ink.

So what does this have to do with Larsson’s vision of a world where there are Men Who Hate Women? Like all tattoos, there is an empowerment in acknowledging the dark by creating memento oscuro, so that you are always ready to conquer ignorance and return to the positive that is truly beautiful and worth fighting for.


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