Kat von D hits the books

Tats, tales and lots of ink fill the pages of her memoir.

PHOTO COURTESY HARPER COLLINS

Ashley Goetz

PHOTO COURTESY HARPER COLLINS

HIGH VOLTAGE TATTOO AUTHOR: Kat von D PAGES: 174 PRICE: $29.99 Kat von DâÄôs history is tattooed on her body, from the âÄúJâÄù on her ankle (a tribute to her first love), to the portrait of her father on her shoulder. Her Beethoven obsession plays out in not one but two tattoos, and a love letter from her boyfriend, Motley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx, is scrawled on another arm. SheâÄôs a living, breathing work of art. KatâÄôs entire tattooed body is displayed in a 360-degree blaze of color in her new book, âÄúHigh Voltage Tattoo.âÄù The needle queen and star of TLCâÄôs âÄúL.A. InkâÄù collected not only her own personal favorite ink, but that of her best pals and heroes and presents them in the book; a slightly Gothic, totally rock âÄônâÄô roll homage to the art of the tattoo. âÄúHigh Voltage TattooâÄù is laid out beautifully: all ornate swirling fonts, baroque curves and shadowy pictures of Kat in leather pants and a sneer. SheâÄôs a rock chick for sure, but sheâÄôs all about love, and the design of âÄúHigh Voltage TattooâÄù is darkly romantic. The best part of the book is not Kat rhapsodizing about her heroes or the story of her life (born in Mexico, started tattooing at 14, did a stint at âÄúMiami InkâÄù before opening her own shop in Los Angeles), but the pictures of the work sheâÄôs inked on thousands of bodies. Kat is a bona fide artist, and her portraiture work drops jaws. SheâÄôs etched JonBenet Ramsey on MySpace celebrity Jeffree Starr, done portraits of sons and parents on bikers and rockers, and created everything from slain starlet Sharon Tate to an Italian angel statue on SixxâÄôs ribcage. Tattoo art is often ignored as a trend, but KatâÄôs book proves that theory totally ridiculous. SheâÄôs worked with, and been inspired by, some of the greatest artists in the States; so what if their canvas is skin? âÄúHigh Voltage TattooâÄù is a coffee table book, so thereâÄôs quite a bit more style than substance, but with such a varied and diverse clientele as KatâÄôs (soccer moms, rock stars) the lacquered pages keep a-turninâÄô.