Photographer: Etienne Saint-Denis Stylist: Marcus Cuffie Models: Dick Wagner Hair: Sean Bennett
Contemporary art, in its various forms, does not usually need to have a clear meaning or function for us to consider it intelligent, beautiful, informative or challenging. But this is a relatively new development. Historically, in the Western world at least, art has served a clear purpose; as Christianity spread across Europe, throughout the Medieval ages and into the Renaissance, art illustrated its religious teachings. Society, culture, education and social life were framed and dominated by religion during this period; religious art was thus considered the greatest, as not only did it honour God but it also depicted stories from the Bible, helping to spread and sustain the Christian message.
There was a very firm threefold guideline as to the function, and proper visual appearance, of religious paintings, particularly during the Renaissance period. These artworks had to meet institutional needs, and promote both intellectual and spiritual interest.
Religious art had to convert religious stories into a visual language, in order to be understood by the general populous, of which a majority were illiterate. Secondly, these artworks had to be emotionally moving, for viewers to really feel these stories, and respond in an emotional, spiritual manner. Thirdly, they had to be memorable, vivid and clear, so that stories from the Bible would have a lasting impression, and stay in the minds of the viewer.
Yet, during this time, people were encouraged to imagine religious stories on their own terms; they would attach faces and places they knew to religious characters and locations, in order to remember the stories more vividly. No artist can compete with the internal particularity of private visualisation. How many times have books been made into films, for us to watch in dismay as our characters become unrecognisable to us?
Consequently, a [...]
Here at Sang Bleu we are proud and excited to announce The Fetish Series, three zines which explore the depths of online fetishists minds published by Sang Bleu and Reba Maybury’s new publishing company Wet Satin Press
The three zines are:A MAN’S FETISH FOR WOMEN WEARING OFFICE APPROPRIATE HEELS SUBMERGED INTO WATER. A 60 YEAR OLD MAN’S RITUALISTIC FETISH FOR WEARING NYLON ON HIS FACE AT HOME. A MAN’S FETISH FOR THE AIR BUBBLES TRAPPED INSIDE WOMEN’S DRESSES WHILE SWIMMING.
The zines will be presented at the New York Art Book Fair at MoMa PS1 which opens this Thursday until Sunday, where Wet Satin Press will be sharing a table with Tamara Santibanez.
Each zine is an edition of 50.
Interviews by Reba, creative direction by Maxime Buchi.
Make-up was until very recently only ever worn by prostitutes but gained popularity with the advent of Hollywood films in the 1930s and 40s. Cosmetics were worn by actresses for no other reason than to highlight the contours of the face so the low quality black and white film would be able to pick up on them. This anomaly has now created economic and social structures that infiltrates how most women invest their time and money. Its strange to think of make-up being a ritual that less than a century ago was rarely performed and has only now been adopted due to a vague technological fault.
A lot of women in the world wear make up, and there is a specialist for all sorts of the many areas that the profession entails. Whether that is within fashion, bridal, personal make-overs, television or film, there is always a hierarchy of the best professionals in each field.
The make -up artists job is unique to every person they work with. Their job primary deals with transforming women, and now more often men too. Usually is aims to make women look more ‘attractive’, ‘beautiful’ or ‘sexy’ , by enhancing or covering parts of the face. It can be used as an escapist format, it can be playful but it can also be full of self loathing. There is no real right or wrong answer about whether make-up is good or bad or not but purely comes down to a personal choice. Trends are also inherent to the cosmetics industry, we look at what celebrities are wearing, which part of the face is being more exaggerated at the moment? What type of eyebrow is fashion?
Maegan lives in California and is a make up artist. What makes her special is [...]
Apro Lee is guesting at Sang Bleu London until the 24th September
Since Seoul-based tattooer Apro Lee completed his first guest spot at East River Tattoo last April, his tattoos–contorted, demonic tigers and cartoonish, almost mocking, magpies in particular–have left a lasting impression. With thick, bold lines, expansive stippling, and graphic dotted, slashed, and scratched textures, all his tattoos have a sense of strength and deliberateness that feels appropriate to their place of origin. After all, tattooing is still very much illegal in Seoul, and serious tattooers are still actively and passionately fighting to practice their craft without persecution. We recently caught up with Apro to talk about his background, philanthropy the rough tattoo scene in Seoul.
When did you start tattooing? Do you have a background in art?
I started tattooing in Seoul, Korea in 2006. I don’t have any background in art, but as far as I can remember, I was drawing all the time. I had always wanted to be a cartoonist when I was little.
I know tattooing is still illegal in South Korea. How does that affect the tattoo scene there? How does the tattoo scene in Seoul compare to other cities you have travelled to?
Yes, tattooing in South Korea is still illegal. There is this strange law that only doctors can tattoo, which is very frustrating. But compared to the days I began about 10 years ago, circumstances and regulations are way better. Back then, there were no [tattoo] masters or [sites like] YouTube that could teach us, nor the proper tattoo equipment dealers. A single needle was $10, so I had to make needles, liners, magnums, etc. every time I tattooed. Can you imagine?
Things are different now, but it still has to stay private and [...]
Polish artist Joanna Rajkowska’s upcoming exhibition at London’s l’étrangère gallery is an unnerving exploration of Western science; casting weaponry out of painkillers, Rajkowska has created products physicalising the complex relationship between the military and pharmaceutical production industries that often develop biological armament and painkilling drugs in cohesion with each other.
Rajkowska has formed products of modern warfare -guns, grenades, bullets- from powdered analgesics. The pristine whitened perfection of these final products mounted on white walls is far from what we hitherto understand as an environment for weapons of war; chaos, blood, dirt upon dilapidated landscapes. Instead, the space they sit in -unused- is clinical, modern, almost dystopian in its displacement.
The same businesses own armament and pharmaceutical production industries due to their similar technologies, similar substances and the similar knowledge required. Therefore, the same individuals are responsible for considering the medical, chemical and psychological consequences of a weapon and the medical, chemical and psychological knowledge to ease a cause of pain. In Rajkowska’s pieces, this complex purpose is physicalised; the product of destruction and a product of aid.
Each weapon is mounted alongside a list of countries that have used it and the wars it has been present in.
These spectral forms, in the purity of their white space, untouched, unmarked and deactivated are unnerving in what we know is their true purpose. Our body, present, should fear these products of harm and destruction, though hesitate in the materialism of analgesics that seek to cure the body justly. In Painkillers, Rajkowska demands this conversation of conflict ideologies. We spoke to her about the process of the artwork, the exhibition and the place for the body within it.
You speak of endless historical research into biological warfare and pharmaceutical industries but what prompted you to create something physical from these findings?
Will Sheldon is currently guesting at Sang Bleu, 29b Dalston Lane until Saturday.
Creating original work within the tattoo world is an area largely untackled or difficult to manouveue due to its isolated styles falling into the categories of flash or tribal or script or geometry or so on or so on….. There is a certain safety in a tattooer cocooning themselves within the guidelines of what makes a good traditional tattoo or a photo realistic portrait.
It seems now that tattooers aim to champion each sub category and re-invent these styles to their own rather than create something new. How many more times can we all see a recreation of an Amund Dietzel snake, a lacklustre copy of a Thomas Hooper sleeve or a flat version of a Duncan X graphic?
At only 25 years old, Will Sheldon has been working at the prestigious shop Saved in Brooklyn for two and half years and creates mind bendignly surreal tattoos incorporating the brilliance of folk and outsider art into something modern but timeless rather than nostalgic. His work is simultaneously sensitive and gender neutral as well as catering towards a more intellectual audience with its humorous edge and brilliant colour palette.
His work sets him apart from anything else happening within the tattoo world at the moment, creating original work within this industry is an area largely untackled or difficult to manouveue due to its isolated styles and overpoweringly masculine environment. However it seems that these categories are rarely challenged, or if they are – they are rarely successful. This is where Will’s work really stands out like a breath of needed fresh air.Instead of speaking to Will about the same repetitive questions that we all want to know but can guess from a tattooer, we’ve [...]