Nirvana: Strange Forms of Pleasure

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 [...]

A discussion with Matthew Linde of Centre for Style at Sang Bleu

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



Candy Darling’s letter to Peter Hujar

On what would have been Darling’s 70th birthday we remember her through her iconic photographs taken by Peter Hujar of her on her death bed.

This letter was written to photographer Peter Hujar by Warhol superstar and trans woman Candy Darling while she was suffering from lymphoma before her premature death at the age of 29 in 1974 . The now famous photograph named ‘Candy on her Death Bed’ was created for the purpose of being published in Warhol’s Interview magazine and the letter presented here shows us a different perspective to the hauntingly beautiful photograph that Candy had organised. Within these contact sheet photographs we see Candy in bed, limp and frail but her intrinsic glamour shines through the sterility of the hospital setting in a completely overpowering way. Even in face of death Candy Darling’s pioneering character provokes a kind of energy that could only be produced by an individual as original as Darling.

Candy Darling’s letter to Peter Hujar about her hospital bed portrait, October 31, 1973.

Dear Peter,

Thank you for at last sending me the contact sheet.  I would like two prints of all the ones I have marked.  Please call me at xxx-xxx-4219 and tell me how much they will be and I will send you a check.  

I am very anxious to get these pictures as I want them printed in Interview and you will get photo credit.

My fans would feel cheated if they didn’t get to see what I looked like in my hospital bed.  I think you know how I feel.

Please be speedy Peter this means a lot to me and after the hell I’ve been through I think I deserve this little favor.  So call me right away O.K. thanks.  I’ll be seeing [...]

The Flawless Sabrina Archive


One of the many wonderful developments that the internet has offered us is a new economy where we can all donate and help projects evolve which would have had a far greater possibility of fading into obscurity without our new awareness of more obscure and financially not profitable projects.

Flawless Sabrina is the American LGBT icon, who since the 1950s has been at the forefront of progressive social changes in the queer community. Now there is a new Kickstarter campaign to help create and save Sabrina’s phenomenally large and important archive.

To explain Sabrina’s influence throughout the twentieth century is difficult to grasp for no other reason other than for the fact that it is so vast. Well known for her appearance in the seminal 1968 documentary The Queen, Sabrina throughout the 50s and 60s operated a national drag beauty pageant aptly named The Nationals which inspired the influential film.

Throughout the 60s and 70s, Sabrina’s experience was used to consult on films such as Midnight Cowboy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Myra Breckinridge as an assumed expert of homosexual matters which was meant to inform the film industry at a time when queer subject matter was tentatively addressed in cinema.

In later years Sabrina became involved in politics, having worked with Hilary Clinton to enable transgender people to alter the (M/F) sex marker on their U.S. passport, and for gay marriage. She is an active member of her community, and a go-to resource for trans in the arts and politics. In late 2013 Sabrina worked closely with luxury department store Barneys on their groundbreaking transgender themed ad campaign shot by Bruce Weber.

And it is through this latest project that the possibility of cementing her historic, cultural and political influence will [...]


TONIGHT! To celebrate Primitive’s new weekly home at Sang Bleu, Fashion East’s menswear designer Roxanne Farahmand and Primitive London will be presenting a Capsule Collection of bags and jewellery at the new Sang Bleu Contemporary Art and Project Space based on Dalston Lane.  We will be showcasing this collaborative installation of their work on Thursday the 20th of November, we would love you to join us from 6-9pm for our private view for this installation where we will feature exclusive pieces and a series of film, text and image works by Greg McCarron-Shipman, Hannah Fincham, Sam Bayliss Ibram, Curtly Thomas and Richard Whittle. . Designers presented by Primitive include Cottweiler, Nasir Mazhar, Liam Hodges, Sang Bleu VTM, Bracken, Ava Catherside, Ambush, Louise Alsop, Roxanne Farahmand, BANZAI and Primitive will be realising their own line and more collaborations as the project evolves. You can find us at 29b Dalston Lane, London, E9 3DF Join the event on Facebook here

Tod Papageorge’s Studio 54

Tod Papageorge’s opulent documentation of famed 70s discotheque Studio 54 has been published into a book titled ‘Studio 54‘ published by Stanley Barker.

Papageorge only visited the New York club six to eight times between 1978 and 1980 and captured only a select amount of images per visit. These make up the 66 images in the book, a testament to the beguiling nirvana of the infamous Studio 54 on West 54th Street. Photographs of the club’s habitués- the glitterati- are not new and have been well circulated since the Studio’s inception due to the intense media coverage it attracted. Studio 54 was the place to be and be seen, to be photographed, mass-produced and consumed as a commodity. The club was saturated with celebrity photographers and existing publications on Studio 54 document it through eyes focused on the celebrities and the costumed attendees. Papageorge, however, observes the club’s un-sensational visitors; the people from the street lost in a Dionysian oblivion. Glittered girls lounge on a glittered coach and lillies cascade around a man overcome with the festivities, sleeping. One of the most sensuous photographs is a girl in a golden ensemble leaning against the bar, smoking a cigarette and clutching her chest. Her eyes roll back in her head, her mouth open. Its orgasmic, but she’s alone, consumed and seduced by Studio 54.

By day, Papageorge would photograph the people who happened to pass his curious lens in Central Park (these images make up ‘Passing Through Eden’, published in 2007) and would then follow the people passing through the exclusive velvet rope into Studio 54, by night.

All of the images taken inside Studio 54 were shot in black and white; a scene saturated in colour captured in monochromatic, tonal beauty. These [...]


Art Direction: Joseph Delaney
Photography: Samuel Hearn
Styling: Matt King
Make Up: Molly Portsmouth
Hair: Jody Taylor
Styling Assistance: Hannah Bent
Models: Max Townsend & Lewis Taylor