From antiquity to the present, Alan Govenar’s new documentary reveals the artistic and historical roots of today’s tattoo explosion.

First Run Features proudly announce the theatrical release of Alan Govenar‘s new documentary “Tattoo Uprising” on September 13 in New York City, with other cities to follow.

From antiquity to the present, “Tattoo Uprising” reveals the artistic and historical roots of today’s tattoo explosion. This sweeping overview explores Biblical references and early Christian practices before moving on to the voyages of Captain James Cook; and finally to our modern day, ever-evolving presence of the tattoo in the Western world.

Tattoo Uprising

Alan Govenar began work on this film in 1980 while finishing his acclaimed short documentary “Stoney Knows How”. “Tattoo Uprising” features new and never-before-seen historical footage from some of the most extraordinary people of the tattoo world including Ed Hardy, Stoney St. Clair, Cynthia Witkin, Calamity Jane, Anne de Hey! and more, as well as an unforgettable appearance by filmmaker Werner Herzog, who allows a rare glimpse at his Ed Hardy tattoo. The film was shot in part by the late legendary filmmaker Les Blank, who also appears on camera.

About Alan Govenar (Director, Writer): 
Alan Govenar is a writer, folklorist, photographer, and filmmaker. He is president of Documentary Arts, a non-profit organization he founded in 1985 to present new perspectives on historical issues and diverse cultures. Govenar is a Guggenheim Fellow and the author of thirty books, including “Stoney Knows How”: “Life as a Sideshow Tattoo Artist”, “Beyond Skin” (with Ed Hardy), “Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound”, “Stompin’ at the Savoy: The Story of Norma Miller”, “Extraordinary Ordinary People”, “Everyday Music”, “Untold Glory”, and “The Blues Come to Texas”: Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick’s Unfinished Book. His book “Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper’s Daughter” won First Place in the New York Book Festival (Children’s Non-Fiction), a Boston Globe-Hornbook Honor; and an Orbis Pictus Honor from the National Council of Teachers of English. Govenar’s artist books and photographs are in collections in the United States and abroad, including The Museum of Modern Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou, Boston Museum of Fine Arts Boston, National Portrait Gallery, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Govenar’s film, “Stoney Knows How”, based on his book by the same title about Old School tattoo artist Leonard St. Clair, was shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and was selected as an Outstanding Film of the Year by the London Film Festival. Govenar has also produced and directed numerous films in association with NOVA, La Sept/ARTE, and PBS for broadcast and educational distribution. His documentaries The Beat Hotel, Master Qi and the Monkey King, You Don’t Need Feet to Dance, andExtraordinary Ordinary People are distributed by First Run Features.