Trying to be objective......Tattoos are a mix of both, depending on your subjective tastes. Some tattoos are striking, others boring, still others might be thought of as artistic creations. Personally I think they're a waste of good ink.
Historically it seems humans have always painted, mutilated and worked on the flesh - for religious and cultural events and festivals and what have you, but we've now taken it into the realms of what you might call sheep fashion. Nearly everyone has a damn tattoo simply because they saw someone else with a damn tattoo!!