Grace Neutral is the social networking phenomenon and tattooer whose popularity has escalated at an accelerated speed over the last year.
She is perhaps best known for having her eyeballs tattooed a light lilac colour, her belly button removed, nose stretched, face tattooed, the shape of moons carved out of her cheeks and ears turned into pixie shapes as well as having 90% of her body tattooed with manga and disney characters.
With almost seventy thousand followers on Instagram, Grace shares with us images of her hand poked tattoos of cartoon characters and mandala designs created at Good Times Tattoo in London and her own body modifications.
So what is it about Grace that people are finding so fascinating? Tattooing has become so common place within youth culture and body modification isn’t that far behind this current trend , so what is it that Grace has created within this culture to have accumulated all this attention? Working as a tattooer is increasingly becoming more and more popular so what does it take to grab the attention of so many in the way in which Grace has?
Is Grace Neutral presenting us with a new format where she has sabotaged a conventional form of female sexuality and our expectations of womanhood or is she creating a new one? And if she is creating a new one is this something that she is doing with an aim to actively challenge our expectations? The tattoo world still exists as a predominately masculine world so having this new young girl accumulate so much attention so quickly has certainly challenged what we expect of a female tattooer.
What does it mean in our contemporary culture that girls want to inlay their bodies with cartoon characters? This of course is nothing new, tattooed images of cartoon characters are completely intertwined with notions of flash design dating back [...]
Tonya Maxene Harding is an American figure skating champion, a two-time Olympian, and a two-time Skate America Champion. In 1991, she won the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and placed second in the World Championships.
I think that she’s a powerhouse and her talent made her the Olympic medal winner and at one time the best women’s figure skater in the world. She has a taste for competition and a fighting spirit. However I think this gumption was fuelled by her sad upbringing with her abusive mother. She went from an abusive mother to an abusive marriage – a man whose actions would lead to her complete demise within the career she had spent nearly her entire life working towards.
“Her mother was married six times; she grew up in a trailer home, was called trailer trash, called a white nigger. Abused child, abused wife. Her insides must look like a broken glass. But she keeps smiling and keeps skating.” — Jesse Jackson
She’s kind of amazing, despite having had the most harsh and abstract life and carries on fighting and believing in herself all the way. After it was found out that her then husband Jeff Gillooly had indeed arranged for her bodyguard to smash the knee of her rival Nancy Kerrigan during the 1994 Olympics with a metal bat, Harding was banned from skating either as a skater or a coach forever. There is no definite way of knowing if she was involved prior to the attack, as Gillooly states that she was but whether she would risk everything on such an outlandish plan is debatable. After the Olympics and under much pressure she signed a plea bargain which included her 1994 title to be revoked and all of her [...]
Sex Shop is the titilating exhibition currently on show at Hackney’s Transition Gallery and it showcases the work of 50 artists and designers surrounding the theme of ‘sex’. Originally on display at Folkestone Fringe last year (think of the seedy seaside town sex shops), each participating practitioner has created a prototype of their desired sexual or fetish object; the responses are all profoundly personal and one experiences a sense of voyeurism with the intrusion into their (usually private) desires.
Sex Shop is indeed a shop, all of the objects involved are for sale, though the exhibition reads more like a cabinet of perverse and perverted curiosities than a standardised retail practice due to the subverted nature of the sex objects on display. We spoke to one of the curators, Jack Stokoe about the exhibition and its objects within.
Where did the idea for Sex Shop come from?
A few years ago, Sarah Gillham, Darren Narin and myself all worked together as art lectures at a college on the outskirts of London. We used to discuss each other’s practice during spare moments as respite from the coalface of teaching. We quickly realised that, if you were to draw a Venn diagram of our interests as artists, ‘sex’ would be the central overlapping area of concern. But we each approached it from a different perspective: Sarah was interested in the psychoanalytical and feminist discourse around female sexuality and desire, Darren had a background in queer theory, and I was interested in the Sadean territory of perversion and nihilism. So between us we had most of our bases covered.
Initially, the idea of doing a sex-based exhibition, as part of the Folkestone Fringe at the next Triennial, was Sarah’s. She had grown up in Folkestone and had wanted to [...]
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’ve asked some of our favourite people to choose a piece of culture which celebrates women in whatever way they seem fit. From songs, famed pieces of art, films,pieces of history and even peoples own creations, the variety of ideas and people chosen for this piece come from the backgrounds of photographers, fashion designers, stylists, tattooers, writers, artists, film makers and publishers.
I would ilike to dedicate the invention of the Vibrator to celebrate International Women’s day.
Tyrone Lebon –
Nina Simone – Do What You Gotta Do cover and photograph of my Mum’s fridge.
The lyrics to this song have always felt heartbreaking to me, I enjoy wallowing in it. There’s a live performance of Nina Simone singing it on youtube that I absolutely love. I’ve definitely sobbed to it a few times. I was just looking for the link to send to you and fate took its course and suggested instead this ukulele version sung by this nice beardy man. Somehow this version seems to make more sense for this. Also here is a scan from a contact sheet of a photo I’m yet to print properly. Its of my mum’s fridge with a sticker which says “MY MUM IS NICE”. So I would like to play this song and look at this photo and give those moments to recognise both my mother and the other women I have loved – for this International Women’s day.Reba Maybury Amrita Sher-Gil Self Portrait as Tahitian 1934 Amrita Sher Gil was a painter of Indian and Hungarian decent working from India and Europe during the first half of the 20th century. Often labeled as the Indian equivalent of Frida Kahlo, there were many blatant [...]
VEJAS is a new young designer who recently showed their F/W15 collection at New York fashion week. Vejas’s stylist Marcus Cuffie alongside photographer Benjamin Bibriesca have created this editorial exclusively exhibited on Sang Bleu using this particular collection. And to go alongside this Vejas and Marcus have had a conversation about the morals behind this progressive and optimistic fashion brand which you can read below.
well the first question is
how did we meet?
but lets just say “online:”
ugh I have to start making up a lie for this answer
we met….in the Mykonos I was with my ex husband then
tho the first first time we met irl was I think when u gave me that um…wool top
.. we don’t speak of that “wool top”
in your retrospective in 20 years I will
wear it and tell everyone this is the first thing u made
u betta not!
lets see next question
why is it important to cast people you care about
at the fall of the Berlin wall, you spray painted the margiela number label on the wall and then I showed you my margiela number tattoo on the back of my neck
ugh you messed up the order!!!!
ill let you answer first cuz I was talking to myself all day so I have my answer anyway
its important for me to cast people I care about because I want to see my friends beauty represented and legitimized and also to ground the clothes in the idea of their wearability in terms of being placed on “regular” people I guess
but the first part more so
right also I think at this point in like
I hate saying career [...]
Daniel Wolfe’s debut film is in UK cinemas now after it’s premiere at Cannes last year. A drama described by Wolfe himself as a ‘modern day western’ it highlights issues intrinsic within modern British life. CMD is not just the love story of Laila and Aaron on the run from her family, but deals with the modern day complexities of identity and culture faced in Britain. With an almost completely unknown cast, actors were street-casted from across Yorkshire and the rest of the UK. All aspects of Catch Me Daddy perpetuate an emotionally raw experience.
Take a look at the official Catch Me Daddy blog catchmedaddyfilm.tumblr.com and most importantly go and see the film.
In selected cinema’s across the UK all week.
Sang Bleu are happy to invite you to the opening night of photographer Akasha Rabut’s show 504 Boyz.
The show will exhibit 10 carefully curated images from the collection, with a curators talk from Hope Plescia-Buchi.
Akasha Rabut is a photographer based in New Orleans, La and New York City, NY. She has a BFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute. Akasha’s clients include Aritzia, Bare Essentials, Budweiser, Hayden Harnett and Kenneth Cole. She has been published in VICE, Boooooooom, Beautiful Decay, Next American City, Feature Shoot, Juxtapose, just to name a few. Her work was most recently highlighted in Luna Press’ anthology Inventing Reality.
The private view and talk will take place next Friday the 13th of March from 7-10pm
Sang Bleu Contemporary Art and Project Space
29b Dalston Lane, E8 3DF
Closest trains stations: Dalston Junction or Dalston Kinglsand.