Description (via Amazon): The photographs, drawings and texts published here are part of a collection of 3.600 tattoos collected over thirty three years in St Petersburg's notorious Kresty prison by attendant Danzig Baldayev. He acknowledges the tattoos as his entrance into a secret world, where he became something as an ethnographer, setting down the ways of a closed society. The tattoos are artful, distasteful, sexually explicit and sometimes simply strange, reflecting as they do the lives and mores of convicts. There are skulls with swastikas, naked women, a smiling Al Capone, assorted demons, medieval knights in armor, daggers and blood, benign images of Christ, mosques and minarets, sweet-faced mothers and babies, tanks and a horned Lenin. Once the criminal language and tattoos were the code of a restricted world, then the world of the criminal became open and their language was diffused into society, but the tattoos remain the secret part.
My pictures from the London gallery exhibition Russian Criminal Tattoos (plus TO's review) - Unzipped Gay Armenia.
*source of pictures - Amazon