During the first weekend of September, tattoo artists and collectors from all over the world returned the historic Windsor Station in downtown Montreal for the twelfth installment of the convention known formally as Art Tattoo Montreal. As usual, well before the convention opened to the public there was a lineup into the street – albeit this year, many attendees were subjected to waiting outside in a downpour of fall rain. Nevertheless, the rain did not put a damper on the event, and the former railway station quickly filled with eager visitors upon opening, staying that way for the next three days.
While the convention hosted a number of artists returning from the previous year, there was also a variety of less familiar faces, including, but certainly not limited to, Henning Jorgensen, Nick Collela, Norm, and Zac Scheinbaum. Unlike previous years, the convention also included two guest lectures by Chuck Eldridge, owner and operator of the Tattoo Archive in Winston Salem, North Carolina. While many tattoo conventions focus on showcasing some of the best contemporary tattooing, rarely do they include free educational seminars on the history of tattooing. Eldridge’s lectures on historic tattoo storefronts and former Toronto tattooer “Beachcomber Bill”, otherwise known as Ken Cotterell, provided a refreshing and much welcomed addition to the convention’s milieu from someone well versed in the history of tattooing.
It is hard to represent, in both words and images, the sensorial experience one feels when attending a tattoo convention. The constant buzzing of tattoo machines, the smell of antiseptic, the slow shuffling of bodies down narrow aisles, and the constant bombardment of imagery via tattooed skin, artist banners, portfolios, and merchandise, are just a few of the reoccurring encounters one has with his or her senses. The text and photographs [...]
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life), Allison Anders’s 1994 film which chronicles the lives of two women, Mousie (Seidy Lopez)and Sad Girl (Angel Aviles), living in Echo Park, Los Angeles. One of the first movies of its kind to focus on Chicana/Chola characters – many of the actors in the film were residents of Echo Park, some involved with barrio gangs – Mi Vida Loca became a cult classic. Mousie and Sad Girl are best friends involved in the same gang whose shared relationship with the man who fathers their children, Ernesto, brings turmoil.
Considering recent mainstream appropriations of Cholo/a fashion (from runway shows to tattooing), the authenticity of Mousie and Sad Girl’s self-representation is a reminder of the origins of urban 1980s/90s Latina culture.
In the aftermath of the beating of Rodney King and the Los Angeles Riots in 1992, Anders’s almost ethnographic methodology – she worked closely with many in the Echo Park neighborhood to accurately portray its resident’s dialogue and linguistic style, for example – was criticized as well as revered. To commemorate the anniversary, Sang Bleu has collected this series of stills from the film.
Pink Kinky: Japan’s Sex Underground by Su Zume and published by Kingyo Books, is an exploration of of Japanese sex subcultures through interviews with prominent industry figures and lavish visual imagery.
Though it looks at more typical aspects of the sex industry such as porn and hosting, Pink Kinky focuses more specifically on the subterranean communities and societies that cater to specific fetishes and sexual desires.
Commercial Japanese pornography has a large universal following due to its wide range of themes and media and this wealthy spectrum continues into the underground non-commercial industry that Pink Kinky explores; interviews range from one with the owner of the Alpha Inn, the infamous SM love hotel, to manga artists, rope bondage masters and ‘ballooners’, participants of the fetish for touching and playing with balloons in a sexual context.
Such a variety of pursuits of sexuality is what makes Pink Kinky so interesting, there’s a topic to appeal to any reader in the same way there’s an apparent sexual subculture for any individual in Japan.
The accompanying images’ vivid theatricality captures the kitschy, fantastical aesthetic that dominates much of the industry. The world of underground kink that Pink Kinky uncovers is in stark visual contrast to Japan’s traditional erotic artworks, such as Shunga woodblocks, but its influence cannot be overlooked. Fetish communities worldwide have benefitted from the influences of the Japanese fetish scene, such as the fetish for Shibari, the erotic art of rope bondage. Su Zume interviews Naka Akira on his rope bondage performances and why shibari is perceived as one of the most accessible and common subcultures within the industry.
Pink Kinky covers underground sexual preferences and practices that sometimes have prominent crossovers with mainstream Japanese sexuality, such as the public reading of pornographic anime and the popularity of love hotels [...]
To celebrate this exciting new exhibition of Sang Bleu friends, Danny Fox, Liam Sparkes and Kinglsey Ifill in Moscow, I thought I’d share with you all a book Kingsley made and then sent to me in the post the other month called ‘Paradise of Neurosis’. He made the book himself and his curation of his brutal yet emotional prints is really quite beautiful. You can see more of his underrated work here.
The raw and intoxicated nature of Sparkes illustrations, Fox’s paintings and Ifill’s photographs will be in its expected abundance, following on from their show BRUTALES MATANZAS in Paris earlier this year.
More information about the show can be found here it had its opening party tonight
Also you can read an interview where we spoke to Danny about his favourite paintings earlier this year on Sang Bleu here
“Tenant 1: The subjugation of women and the earth is one in the same.”
The FUTURE FEMINISM collective includes artists Antony Hegarty, Kembra Pfahler, Bianca and Sierra Casady, and Johanna Constantine. Over the last three years, the group has developed a series of tenants that comprise a feminist manifesto of sorts. As they explain, “FUTURE FEMINISM is a call to arms to reorganize ourselves as a species and affirm archetypically feminine values.” Touching on the links between environmentalism and feminism, organized religion and feminist spirituality, the collective invites new ways of thinking about feminism and new vocabularies to speak about global female subjugation, as well as female power. To illustrate this “frontier feminist point-of-view,” the group is holding various “provocations” this month at The Hole in NYC. The exhibition includes a thirteen-night performance and lecture series which will debut the 13 Tenants of Future Feminism. (including a variety of Sang Bleu contributors such as Lydia Lunch and Viva Ruiz)
Performances begin at 8pm, doors at 7:45pm, and all events are open to the public on a first-come first-serve basis. Suggested donation: $10. The opening reception is free.
More information can be found here
Thursday, September 11: Opening 6-9PM
Friday, September 12: Bianca and Sierra Casady, Sarah Schulman
Saturday, September 13: Johanna Constantine, Lydia Lunch
Sunday, September 14: The Factress aka Lucy Sexton, Clark Render as
Margaret Thatcher, Laurie Anderson
Wednesday, September 17: Narcissister, Dynasty Handbag, No Bra
Thursday, September 18: Ann Snitow speaks with the Future Feminists
Friday, September 19: Kiki Smith presents Anne Waldman, Mei-Mei
Berssenbrugge and Anne Carson
Saturday, September 20: Kembra Pfahler and The Girls of Karen Black
“Jack Bilbo by Jack Bilbo: Artist, Author, Sculptor, Art Dealer, Philosopher, Psychologist, Traveller and a Modernist Fighter for Humanity”
– self declaration
The work of outsider artist Jack Bilbo (1907-1967) is now on show in the David Zwirner gallery.
The focus of the exhibition will be on his ink drawings of the 1940s made when Bilbo was settled in London with his gallery, The Modern Art Gallery, and later Weybridge, Surrey.
Bilbo’s work is typified by the pairing of Anti-Capitalist political satire and absurdist black humour, communicated through the combination of uncensored, peculiar imagery,-emerging from doodles and fantasies- and idiosyncratic textual accompaniments and titling. This is reflective of his character, a larger than life, Bohemian raconteur yet irreverent campaigner for social change.
Jane England, Director of England & Co. and foremost scholar on the artist’s work, notes: “Many of Bilbo’s drawings reflect the Socialist outlook and anti-Capitalist views he shared with other German artists such as George Grosz and John Heartfield. Bilbo’s satiric drawings with their ironic captions convey his deeply felt political ideas—he took the role of an outsider in his life and work, and was a passionate and irreverent social critic. Other drawings depict his bizarre, sometime sexual, and often violent fantasies: they emerged from doodles and improvisations and reflect his obsessions. The titles he inscribed on them are as idiosyncratic as the drawings: surreal, absurdist, crude, often humorous”.
The ironic and surreal titles and captions accompanying the imagery support Bilbo’s self pronounced stance as a modernist fighter for humanity, as his work Death Knows No Frontiers, Races, Classes or Religions- Death is Impartial- Why Not Life? (n.d) shows.
Bilbo’s work disregards the conventional criteria of technicality and taste through the use of ‘oodling’, which Bilbo defined as the “artistic process of making sense [...]
After several back and forth email conversations spanning a number of months, for a moment it seemed as if the “Ten Questions” interview with Parisian-based tattooer and graffiti writer Cokney was never going to happen. Understandably so, as 2014 has been a busy, although productive year for this young French artist, with several guest spots throughout the world, a number of exhibitions, and a full time position at Hand In Glove tattoo shop in Paris. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to meet up with him at this year’s edition of Art Tattoo Montreal this past weekend, where he was awarded the prize for “Tattoo of the Weekend”. Among that discussed were his introduction to tattooing, his constant appetite for travel, and one of his other pursuits – graffiti writing. Keep reading below for more, and be sure to check out his Instagram and website for a number of other photos.
For those who are unfamiliar with your work, could you please introduce yourself? What does ‘Cokney’ mean and why have you chosen to tattoo under a pseudonym rather than your real name?
I live in Paris and work at Hand In Glove tattoo shop. I discovered tattooing through the skinhead and punk culture in the early 2000’s. During this period I used to go to every Oi! and reggae-rocksteady show. With few young skinhead like me, we started to do everything together, we decided to organize ourselves as a band. During the evolution of this band I had my first vision of tattooing, something more brutal, a tattoo that take its power from symbolism more than aesthetic beauty. On the side I was also actively painting graffiti on trains and subways… The name “Cokney” was formed, and continues to be my [...]