Barred for Life
How Black Flag's Iconic Logo Became Punk Rock's Secret Handshake
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Cataloging the legacy of the American punk rock pioneers Black Flag, this photo documentary uses stark, contrasting portraits to share the stories of the die-hard fans who wear the iconic four-barred logo tattooed on their skin. From doctors to homeless punks, stories range from the intensely personal to the absurd as each larger-than-life soul mugs for the camera. Adding to the idea that mixed messages can come from one unifying design, each image is highlighted with a personal quotation, a name and bio, and a Black Flag favorites list. Captured during an extensive tour through the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, this collection serves as a visual testimony to the hyper-distilled mythology that the band is more prevalent now than when it was in service, and serves as a soundtrack for those living as self-imposed cultural outsiders. Interviews with former members of the band, tattoo artists, photographers, and other relevant luminaries round out this ethnography and serve to spotlight Black Flag’s vicious live performances, forward-thinking work ethic, and indisputable reputation for acting as both champions and destroyers of the punk rock culture that they helped create.
- PM Press, January 2013
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