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Horiren has made a name for herself working in shops and conventions from Bangkok to London. This multifaceted artist not only has a hand in tattooing, but as a muralist and public speaker. In order to be part of her world, you must be formally introduced. It was by sheer luck that I had the opportunity to meet and collect a piece by such a prolific tattoo artist. While exhibiting her piece for the Body Electric show, held at the Ricco Maresca Gallery in New York City, she did a three day guest spot at East River Tattoo before heading back to Japan. It was my first time getting tattooed in the Shamisen-bori style and I could not be more excited. Our conversations were limited, but with the help of her translators we were able to communicate a few aspects about her work and thoughts on tattooing.
How do you perceive the tradition of tattooing?
Japanese tattoo culture is changing now. We are starting to see designs based on anime and original illustrations by contemporary artists. We are starting to see tattooers who have little knowledge in traditional Japanese designs, picking up images off the internet and tattooing without knowing the meaning of the tattoos. We are losing much of our irezumi traditions, and when I say traditions, I mean not only the designs, but the methods of tattooing, ways to handle and take care of the tools, relationship between a master and his/her apprentices, etc. But since nothing stays the same, the change is inevitable.
You mention that your work is transitory. Why have you taken this approach to tattooing?
I view tattoos as alive beings, and tattoos and our lives both can only shine while they are [...]
Yesterday, while in the library I came across this rather incredible book. Not only are the photographs amazing but the descriptions with each image are out of this world! Although the book reads as being utterly sensational it still holds some important historical references to tattooing and rare images.
(Sorry for the bad quality photos)
John Fahey is perhaps best known as the much revered avant-garde guitarist who incorporated aspects of the likes of folk, blues, and bluegrass to classical music, musique concrete, and noise in his primarily acoustic guitar-based compositions. During his lifetime he was considered an icon, changing the sonic landscape of guitar music on a monumental scale.
However, what is less known about Fahey’s already impressive career is his work as a painter. These psychedelic, naive and timeless paintings are the work of the guitar legend. Later on in his life he extended his so-called American Primitive approach beyond music, and into the development of paintings created in make-shift studios around Salem, Oregon.
Painting on found poster board and discarded spiral notebook paper, working with tempera, acrylic, spray paint, and magic marker, Fahey’s intuitive approach echoes the action found through his music. Many of these paintings were used by Fahey to barter with for hospitality while he lived on the road and in motels, and others were given away or discarded. Passing away in 2001, his paintings are refreshingly devoid of any of the then contemporary art practice, creating these pieces of art work solely through his own isolated creative practice. Starting the practice again in the 1990s after it being a childhood hobby, in the book’s essay by critic Bob Nickas, Fahey’s former wife Melody recalls one of his common creative processes: “He made these small paintings by putting the powder into wet phone books and then he’d stomp on them…” she says.
New York’s Audio Visual Arts gallery curator Justin Luke said: “Around 2009 I was having a conversation about Fahey with an artist I’d been working with called John Andrew. We were both old fans of Fahey’s and knew he’d painted. [...]
Try and imagine a world where Pink Narcissus hadn’t been made. The arthouse drama film visualises the erotic desires of a gay male prostitute in fantasy landscapes shot in intensely saturated colour. It was released in 1971 under an ‘Anonymous’ crediting but was finally attributed to its true creator, James Bidgood in the 80s. Pink Narcissus took seven years to film and was shot entirely in Bidgood’s living room, laboriously and fantastically transformed into the variety of scenes that act as backdrops to Pink Narcissus’ erotic desires.
Bidgood is an American artist who embraces multiple disciplines to create his world of immersive erotic enchantment. After moving to New York aged 17, Bidgood started working at Club 82, the infamous basement club of drag staging shows three times a night, seven days a week. Starting out as a singer, Bidgood then designed the sets and costumes for the performances. Whilst studying at Parsons School of Art and Design, he dressed window displays. Bidgood’s most excessive and fabulous designs were staged at the New York Junior League Ball and these costumes were subsequently used as the sets for the homeoerotic fantasy scenes he photographed for the next seven years, all created and shot in his living room.
The first photograph he took was of a sea nymph swimming in an underwater utopia called Water Colors using Club 82 dancer Jay Garvin. In his profile of Bidgood in Aperture, Philip Gefter dissects Bidgood’s production of Water Colors; ‘the bottom of the ocean was created with silver lame spread across the floor of Bidgood’s apartment; he made the arch of a cave out of waxed paper, and fashioned red lame into the shape of lobster. He coated Garvin with mineral oil and pasted glitter and sequins to his skin so the silver fabric under photographic [...]
Infamous for his ability to capture and regurgitate the zeitgeist of fashion, Steven Meisel is one of the most significant photographers of the twentieth century, having shot infamous fashion campaigns and editorials and launching the careers of some of the world’s most famous models has just had a new exhibition dedicated to his work open in London.
The pioneering radical’s work will be shown through a collection of 25 of his most notable works is currently on show at Phillips Auction House London as part of his travelling selling exhibition celebrating his prolific career titled ‘Role Play’.
Meisel’s complex photographs are often truly controversial; he juxtaposes fashion with politics to explore and criticise contemporary social tensions. Some of the themes he’s explored in his editorials consists of the likes of the Iraq war, female mental illness and plastic surgery. The July 2008 ‘All Black’ issue of Italian Vogue was shot completely by Meisel and featured an entire casting of black models which was created as a reaction to the lack of racial diversity in fashion imagery. When asked about the issue Meisel said, “obviously I feel that fashion is totally racist. The one thing that taking pictures allows you to do is occasionally make a larger statement. After seeing all the shows though I feel it was totally ineffective. I was curious—because it received a lot of publicity—whether it would have any effect on New York, London, Paris, or Milan, and I found that it did not. They still only had one token black girl, maybe two. It’s the same as it always was and that’s the sad thing for me.”
Meisel is credited as having launched the careers of the world’s supermodels through his discovery and promotion. His influence can be felt in the [...]