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Danny Fox at Sang Bleu Los Angeles opens this evening

We’ve spoken to Danny Fox about his private view happening this evening at the Sang Bleu pop up tattoo shop in Los Angeles. After the Sang Bleu Contemporary Arts and Practice Space invited painter Danny Fox to have a residency at our space, this evening he will be showing the work he’s created there. We spoke to Danny to find out more about the work he has been making.

 

Recently you have been working from your hometown in Cornwall after living in London for years and now you are in LA, how has working in these radically different spaces affected you work?


In London I had years to figure out what I wanted to do. I was chipping away at it for a long time, so all the work I made there is very laboured, thick with layers of re workings. After those works had been shown I felt I had become synonymous with certain images so I back to cornwall to try to do something different. The work I made there is more abstract, less scenic. As far as the surroundings go Cornwall in winter is mostly about staying inside apart from the odd outing to the local. I made around forty works there. It was 5 months of howling wind and rain. So I came to Los Angeles. Here I’ve made 15 paintings in 2 weeks. I’ve tried to paint the country, historically and culturally but also can’t help taking the piss out it. It’s been good to be warm but these painting are basically drive/ thru fast food versions of what I normally make.

Could you explain what some of these new paintings look like? In terms of them being ‘drive/thru / fast food versions of what [...]


Carl Williams of Maggs chooses Sang Bleu his best bits from Book and Room

Carl Williams is the man behind the counter culture department of Maggs Bros Ltd. If you’re not sure of what or who Maggs is; its an antiquarian booksellers in London’s uppercut area of Mayfair.

Maggs has been selling some of the rarest and most specialised books since 1853. Where the rest of the company sells the likes of first edition Charles Dickens’ and Medieval manuscripts, Carl finds original Velvet Underground posters and rare zines made by the most obscure subcultures. In essence Carl’s job is pretty heavenly, he is largely responsible for saving and recognising culture usually dismissed by institutions for their ‘low culture’ connotations which is only more exciting due to the context of the Maggs Bros. traditional setting.

Unlike the usual bookseller discovering subcultural press, Carl invests in the most mind blowing material culture that you could have only dreamed of knowing existed. So to celebrate his stall at the book fair ROOM&BOOK opening today at London’s ICA, he’s chosen us some of his favourite pieces that he’ll be displaying their this weekend.

 

 

FLAGELLATION, ROGER.         [Fessées (Spankings)].
A collection of sadistic drawings. Small folio, 38 drawings on full pages; 27 fully worked in coloured pencils, with 11 on versos with some partly erased, all in pencil with a few partly coloured, 14 versos also annotated largely in blue pen in French, bound in on stubs, with a signed ‘frontispiece’ tipped on to a cutaway cream paper window, tissues giards, blanks, in recent quarter blue straight grained moroco, marbled paper boards, gilt titles on spine, 5 raised bands. N.p., n.d., 1950s.   £1,250
Fine.
A rare submissive’s illustrated testimonial to a dominatrix or fellow sexual role player. We do not know who the creator of these [...]


Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes Live at Sang Bleu London

Last Thursday Sang Bleu Tattoo was transformed into a one off live music venue for the eagerly anticipated debut performance from Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes. In and amongst the pit, this would be the first of many moshes for the Rattlesnakes who start touring in June. It’s always a breath of fresh air to hear new music at a time when our airwaves are overrun with the manufactured and mundane. Being crammed into a hot sweaty basement, as the sounds boomed from wall to wall shaking ourselves and the pentecostal church next door, it was an evening not to be forgotten. Forgoing any expectations we had,  it’s truly got us excited about what’s in store for the year ahead. Check out the video from last Thursdays show below. 

Check out Frank Carter’s debut art show Modern Ruin at Sang Bleu Contemporary until 17th June. 

www.andtherattlesnakes.com

Video credits: David Ranson www.davidransonfilms.com


Aaron McElroy – Flesh, Sexuality and the Voyeur

Intimate and erotic images lay before me; my eyes lay focus upon small flesh curvatures, awkward contortions and pink nude bodies. Aaron McElroy, Brooklyn based photographer has amassed a body of work that explores female sexuality through the narrative gaze of the auteur himself. The power of suggestion is heightened purely by the disjointedness of the dream like images; a chronicle of pleasure, addiction and beauty.

 

Power does not behold the anonymous, half clothed or naked. We are the dominant; our gaze captures parts of flesh that we can control as the viewer. A faceless body that openly allows us to imagine the missing pieces, manipulating the whole image with small glances. Lost identities become whole through visual domestic banality. Folds of skin, loose hair are incarcerated by one square image, but as you look deeper the habitat of this space is wholly private. Sheets strewn in the background, blank walls and random household items create an intrusion into the private sphere of the host. This no longer is an image of celebration towards the female form but instead an exploration of a male gaze towards the body. An unfolding of pleasure and fiction.

 

 

How did you get into photography?

 

It was really random… I’d never thought of photography as being this kind of art form – I was never interested in art. I started taking pictures because I wanted to fill up my apartment. After that I started taking classes. You didn’t need a degree to get in – it was along the lines of: ‘You like photography? Well, we’d like your money’. So I basically just got involved really quickly and it opened itself up in [...]


Black Baron

Perhaps the only White division fighting in the Russian Civil War that stood out so much with the intensity of its attributes and diversity in participants was the Partisan division, which evolved into the army of ataman Annenkov. According to the Division’s tradition, every volunteer covered his chest or wrist with a tattoo of an Orthodox Cross, skull with crossbones, or a snake  bizarrely wrapped across the body. Some soldiers even had “God with us and Ataman Annenkov” tattooed.

Volunteers with such tattoos agreed that in the case of captivity, they wouldn’t be spared.

A nostalgic love for the old Imperial Army inspired Boris Vladimirovich Annenkov to create the Black Hussars Regiment (following the example of the former 5th Hussar Regiment of Alexandria), Blue Lancers Regiment (same as the 10th Lancers Regiment of Odessa), cuirassiers, dragoons and “Leib Ataman” regiments. Despite the need of resources and constant fighting operations, Annenkov was able to equip his army in an authentic form.

The Division’s flag was a black canvas covered with a skull and crossbones reading “God with us.” The same slogan was put on all the army’s armoured cars and carriages.

Hussars were wearing black gymnasterkas (double breasted shirt tunic), “chakchiry” (so-called hussar pants) with silver stripes and pelisses decorated with the white cords . The peaked cap also depicted skulls instead of the cockade and rosettes on the boots too.

The Cossacks of Ataman’s regiment wore papakhas, silver skulls on the gymnasterka’s sleeves, patched lapels, lampasses on the trousers and a monogrammed “AA” (“Ataman Annenkov”) on the shoulder strap.

When Russian people suffered Bolshevism oppression
Our little troop was raising riot replication

We left our homes and wives and mothers
We fought with Reds we wanted rest for others…

Two years rebutting the dark force, our deaths were counting hundreds
Another [...]


Elegance Bratton’s Bound by Night

Documenting beautiful images created with a balance of both fascinating photographic works and as a record of a contemporary subculture currently existing in New York – Bound by Night was recently created by Elegance Bratton and published through Wild Life press.

Twenty three years on from Jennie Livingston’s seminal documentary Paris is Burning which followed young LGBT African American and Hispanic individuals recreate spaces to feel at home within outside of their biological families and through the space of the ballroom; Bratton shows the rest of the world that this culture hasn’t disappeared but simply adapted to our current time.

Unfortunately homophobia, racism and transphobia haven’t been eradicated in the last two decades and what is possibly more upsetting is in Bratton’s introduction where he explains to the reader that since the late 80s the AIDS epidemic has never really slowed down for this community and is still spreading to the most vulnerable at a ferocious rate.

Many of the individuals shot in this book fall in to the subcategories of the ballroom competitions of Femme Queen, Butch Queen, Sex Sirens, Thugs, Voguers, Pretty Boys and so on which are all perfectly explained to us in the introduction.

However much hardship the individuals in this book have experienced, the elements of transformation that fashion and dance offer these young people creates a space of celebration and empowerment. Bratton also presents us with a space which is actually very private and its in own way quite exclusive, many of our own experiences of this culture exist through spectating its re-appropriation through pop culture.

It is so rare to see images where notions of fashion are explored without a barrier of unattainability or exclusivity manifesting themselves, rather Bratton’s images show us an area of hope [...]


An Interview with Simon Paccaud: Art, Music, London

Simon Paccaud is a Swiss artist, who took up residency at Sang Bleu earlier this month in preparation for his debut show in London. On Thursday 30th April we held the opening for Simon’s show entitled Mimi Siku and celebrated at The Passage with live performances from the man himself.

It’s your first time in London, what are your initial thoughts of the city?

It’s a pretty classy town from what I saw I think it’s different from where I come from anyway. There’s a good mix of people, and a lot of cultural diversity. This city has an energy to it that lends itself very well to hip hop culture. During the ten days I have been here I feel like the city is always moving.

How has being in London inspired the pieces you have been working on for your debut show in London?

Well, in the pieces I have created have been inspired by my time here. Ideally I think I would have spent more time here to really know more about the city. But yeah it inspired me, at the same time it’s like many things in my work I use codes that are pretty clear, that come from the street or the popular culture.

Could you explain what Mimi Siku is? How did its formation take place?

It’s just a re-appropriation of the film “Little Indian, Big City” and I have friends who call me Mimi Siku. It’s kind of like that guy who’s coming from a different environment (I have lived 10 years in the mountains), just a little besides, who discovers the towns and that’s just what I’m doing for a while. For 10 years, I do everything to climb on buildings or ride full of places. Acting like it was [...]