Since building the infamous multidisciplinary art space AKA Berlin and passing on AKA London in 2011, creative director and performance artist Jon John has ventured and focused on his other major passion, jewellery and body adornment. Inspired by his travels and carrying on the legacy of tribal adornment from African, Asian and South American ancestral jewellery culture, but with an added modern twist.
The new project from Jon John, AKA Adorned will be popping up in Berlin, Paris and more specifically London.
We are very excited to have Jon John share his new collection with us at the Sang Bleu London Contemporary Art and Project Space.
AKA ADORNED POP UP SHOP | SANG BLEU LONDON
Friday 5th December, 12pm – 8pm
Saturday 6th December, 12pm – 8pm
We will be holding a private view drinks reception this evening, Thursday 4th December 6pm – 9pm
SANG BLEU LONDON
29b Dalson Lane, London, E8 3DF
I met Spider Sinclaire while he was guesting at the Sang Bleu London studio a few months ago.
What I had seen of his work before he came was a mixture of surprising but familiar references to 80s and 90s tattooing which clashed with the aesthetic of traditional tattooing which we have been used to seeing over the past few years. The owner of Two Hands Tattoo and Flash City from Auckland, New Zealand prefers fine line and spiky 90’s tribal to the bold fat outlines he was previously doing for a bit more than a decade. Curious to find out more about this interest for an era of tattooing mostly hidden away, we had a chat in between tattoos.
He should be visiting Europe again in 2015.
Interview by Antoine Laine
Could we start by talking about how you got into tattooing?
I did my first tattoo in 2001 but I didn’t actually start working in a shop until about 2003 and then I did an informal apprenticeship.
You told me you were doing more traditional work at first?
Yes, that’s all I ever really wanted to do. The main inspiration for becoming a tattooer was the book “New York City Tattoo”. A friend of mine bought me it because I was already collecting tattoos and seeing designs. From there I came across Sailor Jerry and I got photocopies of the first Sailor Jerry book. All I ever did was traditional, it was my favourite style.
Where did you get the photocopies from?
A friend who was a tattooist was working over here in London and he came back to Auckland briefly, I met up with him and told him I wanted a sailing ship tattoo. He didn’t really do that kind of stuff. He was more into [...]
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I became. People think of my make up as a mask but its the opposite, I think we have the opportunity to make ourselves up each and every day. We can create our identity and its a privilege that we live in a world where we can do that.”
If you live in London you may have seen Chadd walking the streets of Hackney after midnight draped in black and white from head to toe, face painted religiously, with excessive monochrome drapery trailing off his body.
Chadd Curry changed his name to Dahc Dermur once arriving in London in 2011 from New York where he had lived for eleven years. In New York, Chadd opened the first Rick Owens stateside boutique, was a stylist and eventually had his own collection and collaboration with artist Maria Intscher (who is now head designer at Calvin Klein) called The Ghost has No Home.
On leaving New York Chadd gave away all of his belongings, cut up his credit cards and had all but ten euro. Aged 45 and starting afresh in London he says that he knew he was home, he felt ‘an overwhelming sense of belonging. When you remove yourself from any attachment the universiverse always steps in , it was a way to restart life again’. London was Chadd’s rebirth – and there is really no one else like him not only in London, but the entire world.
Now a fixture on London’s club scene Chadd regularly DJ’s and can be seen in the likes of KAOS and at his own bimonthly event N.U.N at Sketch. Chadd’s dedication to his subversive lifestyle filters into every aspect of his existence, and at Sang Bleu we are [...]
Thanks to New York University’s Fales Library the journals of multimedia artist and social activist David Wojnarowicz have been digitalized and made available to view in full online. Containing personal tales of the unsung hero’s travels across Europe and America and correspondence with those he became associated with alongside the developmental processes of his art and film work, the catalogued pages are dated from 1971 to 1991 shortly before the artist’s own death from an AIDs related illness in 1992.
The artist was known to be the lover of photographer Peter Hujar (most noted for his photography of American actress Candy Darling on her deathbed) before his death from AIDS complications in 1987, after which the Wojnarowicz’s work became heavily concerned with and driven by the social and legal injustices inherent in the response to the AIDS epidemic, summed up so succinctly a jacket worn by the artist at a demonstration emblazoned with the words “If I die of AIDS – forget burial – just drop my body on the steps of the F.D.A.” [the American Food and Drug Administration at the centre of controversy surrounding the mismanagement of responses to the AIDS epidemic].
Sadly the battle against the injustices highlighted in his work continued long after his death, even recently in 2010 the Smithsonian removed and edited footage from Wojnarowicz’s short fiilm A Fire in My Belly following complaints from members of religious groups, his journals act as a lasting reminder of the need to demand the basic rights that are so sadly still denied in the shadows of the often not so far flung corners of the world.
See the papers in full here.
On the 8th of January, Art historian Amelia Jones will be joined by artist and Sang Bleu friend Ron Athey to discuss the relevance of sexuality in contemporary art, from expression to repression, exploring how the term has shifted in tandem with artistic and theoretical debates.
These photographs were taken by Devin Blair of Ron Athey for the 6th issue of Sang Bleu and we have shared a selection of them with you today in light of this sure to be fascinating and insightful conversation taking place in the new year.
Ron Athey is a London-based performance artist from Los Angeles. He has been performed body and sound-based works since 1981, starting with PE, a collaboration with Rozz Williams. Through the ’90s in the heat of the AIDS pandemic, “Ron Athey and Company” toured the so-called ‘torture’ trilogy, performing at PS122, New York; ICA, London; Festival Atlantico, Lisbon; x’teresa, Mexico d.f.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; CCA, Glasgow; Cankjarev Dom, Ljulbjana; among others. Starting in 1999, Athey explored solo work, notably with Solar Anuswhich was shown at such venues as Hayward Gallery, London; Luciano Inga-Pen Gallery, Milan; NGBK, Berlin; and the Self-Obliteration cycle at Hebbel und Ufer, Berlin and participant inc., New York. Athey has also worked and collaborated with Juliana Snapper (The Judas Cradle), Lawrence Steger (Incorruptible Flesh), and Julie Tolentino (90s company work and Tolentino’s archival project The Sky Remains The Same). A monograph edited by Dominic Johnson, entitled Pleading in the Blood, was published by Intellect press last year.
Amelia Jones is the Robert A. Day Chair in Fine Arts at the Roski School of Art and Design at University of Southern California and Vice-Dean of Critical Studies; she was previously (2010-14) Grierson Chair in Visual Culture in the Art History and Communication Studies Department at McGill University. Her recent [...]
Nirvana: Strange Forms of Pleasure, an exhibition that examines the influence of erotica on contemporary art, design and fashion, is currently on show at the MUDAC Museum of Applied Arts and Design in Lausanne, Switzerland.
A universal selection of artists across all art and design practices, such as Atelier van Lieshout, Zaha Hadid, Yves Behar, Pierre Charpin, Betony Vernon and the house of Maison Martin Margiela have contributed to the group exhibition.
The exhibition stems from an observation of the growing number of artistic practitioners being inspired by the fetish scene. Though referencing the fetishistic is nothing new, curators Marco Costantini and Susanne Hilpert Stuber were possessed by the influence erotica was having across all disciplines of the art and design industry and how such influences were being used and subverted in order to challenge our perceptions of pleasure.
The display of 200 images, objects and clothing is a voyeuristic exhibition of the personal perceptions of pleasure from the 100 contributing artists and designers; their (what hitherto remained private) sexuality and desires are made public. The exhibition seeks to challenge forms of expression and how notions of the private and the public are subverted when they’re subject of a fashion, design or artistic object that we engage with in normalcy everyday. Van Lieshout’s ‘Body Sofa’ demands the body to place themselves within the tangled orgy of vaguely humanely characterised forms that create the sofa’s silhouette and Karim Rashid’s ‘Karimsutra Bed’ is a bed that beholds no function for sleep, just sex; each part is designed for the comfortable support of a position of the Karma Sutra.
Society’s vigorous desire for sensual pleasure in the digital age is explored throughout Nirvana and many of our pre-constructed taboos surrounding fetishism and erotica are subverted through the use of unexpected shapes and materials. Mark Woods in particular [...]
This Sunday at 8pm at The Sang Bleu Contemporary Art and Practice Space, Matthew Linde of Centre for Style will be joining us in conversation with our editor Reba Maybury.
Matthew Linde is the curator, artist and director behind the exhibition space and shop Centre for Style in Melbourne, Australia. Centre for Style exhibits and showcases some of the most cutting edge contemporary fashions which possess optimistic and entertaining possibilities, presenting them in a fine art context. Linde’s work as a curator and artist is providing our current language of fashion with a stimulating outlook on the industry where it becomes playful and interactive. His work challenges a raw and democratic simplicity in our perception of clothes in contrast to the all too often elitist and extravagant vulgarity which is all too prevalent in the contemporary fashion industry.
Please join us this Sunday evening to hear our discussion with Linde where this will be the first series of talks which will be ongoing at the Sang Bleu Contemporary Art and Practice.
29b Dalston Lane, Dalston, London E8 2ET