Leon Mostovoy: Market Street Cinema

ONE Archive in Los Angeles are currently showcasing the recently donated, provocative photo essay, ‘Market Street Cinema’ by Leon Mostovoy that documents the personal lives of the lesbian prostitutes working as dancers in the titled San Francisco strip club between 1987 and 1988.

Transgender Mostovoy is an artist and photographer that started photographing the sex industry’s women after witnessing many of his lovers and friends making a living within it. Through knowing one of the dancers, Mostovoy was able to grant access beyond the stage of the Market Street Cinema strip club and started photographing an account of the women’s lives in the dressing rooms. The result is a series of personal photographs that show character and individuality within their profession of controlled and choreographed sexuality.

The photographs feature aspects of the dancers, their profession and their environment that don’t transcend to their stage; Mostovoy captures their relationships, the camaraderie and brief encounters with customers, as well as subtly bearing truth to the dark and often shabby preconceptions of the sex industry. Speaking on his own work, Mostovoy said that he sought to capture the ‘nuanced softness found underneath the rough exteriors of the dancers'; many of the images on display feature the women alone at a point of introspection and are melancholic in their evocation.

The series documents the struggles and triumphs of being a woman in this particular landscape. It aims (and succeeds) in normalising expectations of women within both the sex industries and homosexual culture. The photographs are hauntingly intimate and pure, a voyeuristic peep into what reads as any other 80s female pursuit by night; they retouch make-up, dance nude, inspect reflections in mirrors and smoke on the stairs. Though the title of the photo essay roots these personalities  in their place [...]


SUB CULTURE by Iain McKell has been re-immersed into the world by Wild Life Press



Steve Terry is the man behind the incredibly good publishers Wild Life Press. If you don’t know about them they’ve created some of the most exciting counter culture publications of the last few years, most notably Bound by Night a book that we explored last year on Sang Bleu which delved right into the contemporary voguing scene in New York with a harrowing reality and humanity. . However, his most recent venture has seen him do something a little bit different, rather than create a whole new book Terry has repackaged one of those books which is so rare and prized that its very name between book collectors is like that of a mythological creature. SUB CULTURE by Iain McKell documented the suedehead and two-tone scene of England in the 70s, and rather than McKell being a voyeur to the scene this iconic photographer was an insider to it, making the photos excruciatingly raw and personal. We spoke to Steve to find out more about this goldmine of a book and how he’s gone about re-packaging so many original copies of it and re-immersing it to the world. Out of all of the rare books in the world, why did you want to re-publish this one?  . I had been after a copy of this book as had many other people I know for years. Its status among collector’s was almost mythical. I usually work with artists on new projects, but I could see a way of presenting Iain’s book that added something fresh while still preserving the integrity of the book itself. I have not technically ‘re-published’ it. I have repackaged it. It is a copy of the original 1979 book together with a new bromide photo print presented [...]


Milla Reika

 

I met Milla Reika (ミラ嶺花 ) when shooting a Hans Bellmer inspired bondage video for the upcoming Sang Bleu 7 in Berlin with Gestalta and Cathy Walsh at Lee Wagstaff’s Rise Gallery. She was finishing a long few weeks session of rehearsal for Cirque Shibari and about to fly back to Japan. I asked a her a few questions afterwards to get to know a bit more about her.

 

You are originally from Australia but you have been working as a bondage rigger and performer for few years in Japan and internationally now. Were you already doing this profession before moving to Osaka? Could you tell us how you got started?

No, for me I only really realised Kinbaku and BDSM after coming to Japan. I had never placed foot on a stage in my life nor considered this profession previously. Often I think back and wonder how in the world did I end up here. I was (and possibly still am) quite a spontaneous and live by the moment type.

My interest in Kinbaku first appeared when came across a Kinbaku photo book in a tiny sex store in back streets of Amsterdam. This was when I was 19 and aside from that it wasn’t until I went to Japan 5 years later that I came across it for a second time.

A year after arriving in Japan I was fortunate enough to meet an English girl, Ellie Streichholz, at a fetish event, whom later introduced me to a SM & Bondage Bar, Matrix. After going along as a customer and expressing interest in learning Kinbaku, I was then invited to work there as an apprentice Mistress (Dominatrix).

Working at Matrix opened up a whole new world for me, which I dove myself [...]


Ten Questions: Cokney

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 [...]


Stills from Chris and Cosey’s music video for their song Rise in 1989

 

In 1989 Chris and Cosey made this exceptional song Rise and to accompany it they made this equally brilliant fetishistic music video. The film was made at the height of the music video’s popularity and almost parodies the kind of MTV friendly editing, dancing and art direction. This is contrasted with Cosey’s beaming confidence as she lets the camera shoot her up skirt as she dances, high heels walking on hands, drumsticks hitting women’s arses and a personality-less gimp mask provoking the camera. The beat of the song is accompanied to the most satisfactory balance of handcuffs hitting the floor, Cosey’s orgasmic body writhing all over the place and shots of electric drum machines.  It’s a work of art in its own right both sonically and visually and its brightening up our Friday morning.

 


Helen Mcdonnell’s Tattoo collection

Helen McDonnell is a Belfast based tattooist who works and owns at Skullduggery studio  since she opened it fourteen years ago. Starting her apprenticeship in 1991 in Dublin at Johny Eagles street shop, as far as she is aware she is one of the very first female tattooists in Ireland. After a year working and learning what she could get from her coworker, she went on to travel all over the world and collected amazing pieces from some of the greatest artists on the globe. We had the chance to snap a few pictures when she visited Sang Bleu studio to get tattooed by Phlip Yarnell. Here she took us through some of her favourite pieces.

Filip Leu – Half sleeve forearm 

I asked him to do what he wanted, so we continued the water from the upper arm piece. Initially I thought it would be really formal session, and was happily surprised by how sharing he was with is knowledge. It was a great experience.

 

Horiyoshi the third – Flowers on forearm

I went to visit him and was really surprised that I got to get booked in at fairly short notice, especially because he is such a legend. The first session was in in his older studio. We got collected, and had to be guided there, in the middle of a residential area.

I asked him for flowers and to do whatever he wanted. He only drew two lines to define the space he will work within and freehanded the whole piece.

When we arrived, there was a thunderstorm, and due to the metal roofing the noise was really amplified for the whole session, and stopped when the tattoo stopped. The most dramatic tattoo I have ever had experienced.

The outline [...]


An interview with Adam Katz Sinding

Adam Katz Sinding is the man behind the hugely popular street style blog Le 21ème and he recently exhibited a selection of his black and white photographs at the Sang Bleu Contemporary Art and Practice Space which was sponsored by Jura whiskey.

Sinding’s photo’s capture the absurdness of fashion and the people who adore it in a truly perfect way. The models, stylists, photographers and journalists who flock to the ten minutes catwalks in carefully planned outfits to catch the attention of the likes of these blogs are documented by Sinding like a social documentary as they arrive and leave to these elitist and capitalist biannual events.

What makes Sinding’s blog stand out from the others (of which there are thousands) is his refined taste in photographing the elite of the fashion world, the most in demand supermodels post show having a cigarette or the stylists wearing the most desired Raf Simons coat or Prada heels glued to their iPhones. These images are usually paired by Sinding’s ability to balance the contrast of their thin and caucasian features, soon to be out of taste clothing and metropolitan background to a satisfying balance. He doesn’t capture the original, progressive or eccentric dressers like many other blogs but focuses his attention on what is considered the most exclusive, physically beautiful and luxurious.  Le 21ème is a blog dedicated to the people who are passing in the fashion world, the ones who are following its rules perfectly and not questioning what any of it means other than a competitive desire to fit into something they don’t quite understand.

I interviewed Sinding to find out more about his strange life travelling the world immersing himself in the ephemeral, surreal and exclusive energy of the [...]