BOOKS
12/28/2011 09:19 am ET Updated Dec 29, 2011

New Book Shows Fascinating Pictures Of Nail Culture And Design

Whether dainty, rounded and pink or sharp, feline and bold, nails have long served as a canvas upon which a person can display their artistic sensibilities.

The art of sprucing up our fingertips began in China in 3000 B.C. Later, women of the Chinese Ming Dyntasy donned artificial nails to separate themselves from manual laborers, and 18th century Greek ladies wore pistachio shells on their hands. Since then, we've seen plastic white tips, rhinestone flowers and punny polish names to cover the entire spectrum of color ("Ladies and Magentamen," "San Tan-tonio").

Putting a new twist on the old art: renowned multi-medium artist, Dzine. Known for his fusion of "beauty, desire and folklore," he embarked on a nail decor project, chronicled in "Nailed: The History of Nail Culture and Dzine" [Standard Press and Damiani Editore, $45.00]. The resulting claw adornments are a punk-chic blend of antiquated trinkets and bold bling.

Here are some of the most fantastic, ferocious images:

PHOTO GALLERY
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