These photos of Russian criminal tattoos will make you second-guess your ink
Oh, you've got a tattoo? What is it, a barbed-wire cuff? A flaming peace sign? A Japanese symbol that you thought meant "tranquility" but really means "egg salad?" Well, that's very nice, but you've got nothing on these Russian criminal tattoos drawn by infamous tattoo artist Danzig Baldaev during his time as a prison guard in Russia.
Between 1948 and 1986, his tattoos were his gateway into a secret world in which he acted as ethnographer, recording the rituals of a closed society. The icons and tribal languages he documented are artful, distasteful, sexually explicit and provocative, reflecting the lives and traditions of convicts.
The photographs below were taken by Sergei Vasiliev, providing photographic evidence of Baldaev's authenticity, and allowing us a glimpse into the gritty Russian underworld.
But yeah, your tribal tattoo is nice too.