An Interview with Jenna Bouma (a.k.a. Slowerblack)

Primarily known to the internet world by her handle Slowerblack, Canadian tattooer Jenna Bouma has been traveling the world for the last two years, covering people with her distinctively bold handpoked tattoos. Her simple, graphic images of sultry ladies, kuniyoshi cats, and strong reworkings of classic flash are the products of meticulously engineered hand tools that Bouma makes herself, and by simplifying her setup and reducing the level of minute detail, Bouma creates tattoos with a sense of mystery–almost teasing a viewer by suggesting that there is more than meets the eye. Bouma plans to settle down in a city TBD, but until then, she’ll be making appearances in Sweden and Italy with Guy Le Tatooer. We caught up with her before all that to learn more about her background and her work.

Firstly, how long have you been tattooing, and how did you get your start?

I started tattooing on my own accord in 2008. That summer, I moved to Vancouver after having spent my life in Edmonton. I had always been intrigued by tattooing, but I didn’t feel at all comfortable with buying a machine and doing it at home, so I stuck with a stripped-down setup and began making pretty whack tools for stick n poking my roommates. (By “whack,” I mean a pencil end, a needle, thread, a thimble and India ink.) I’d pick up overly expensive packs of nitrile gloves from shoppers drug mart and trot my ass home with a smile on my face, fully ready to get to it. My friends Chad and Colin had both got matching Maple Ridge straightedge tattoos, and another friend Mallory got the Minor Threat sheep on the side of her foot.

When I did those tattoos, I really [...]

Order Tamara Santibanez’s new book LEATHER

 Tattooer Tamara Santinbanez’s new book of illustrations named “LEATHER” is now available for pre-order via

Read our interview with Tamara from earlier this year here

Erotic fashion photographer god Hans Feurer and his new book

It’s Nice That just created a brilliantly to the point interview with fashion photographer legend Hans Feurer about his new book. If you’re not familiar with Fuerer’s lusciously sensual images of women, it wouldn’t be completely surprising as his recently published book is the first ever dedicated to his work, which is strange as his most prominent photographs were made in the 60s, 70s and 80s. However the Swiss born photographer is still producing imagery for some of the most high profile fashion publications at the age of 79. An attention to symmetry and the erotic are often present in Feurer’s work, wet mouths, naked skin being provoked by water or sand and perfect details of women’s body hair repeat themselves in densely vibrant colours usually cropped in an obsessively gorgeous frame.

Enjoy Feuer’s straightforward answers below and Sang Bleu’s pick of our favourite work of his.

What’s your favourite project that you’ve ever worked on, and why?

Kenzo in the 1980s. I had complete freedom of interpretation.

Your work has only recently been made into a book. How do you feel now when you look back over the photographs you’ve taken over your career?


You’re considered by many as a pioneer of contemporary fashion photography. Do you enjoy seeing your past work referenced in projects by others?

It’s always a compliment for me.

How has your work as a graphic designer and art director influenced the way you take photographs?

It’s all one thing: visual communication.

How has fashion photography changed since you first started out?

Digital techniques have created a huge new opportunity, but for me there is no change.

What’s your most unforgettable memory from a shoot?

A Masai shaman who didn’t want me to take his picture provoked a miniature tornado to appear in front of [...]


Tiril Hasselknippe is a visual artist and a writer based between Oslo and New York, and a new contributor to Sang Bleu.

Rider is a love letter and survival log written for her sculpture show The Shapers at Grünerløkka Kunsthall in Oslo which opened earlier this summer. (July 11.)

Read Tiril’s writing exclusively on Sang Bleu.

London showcases the best of Bernstein

As photography succumbs to its fate as the art form of the everyman, illustration has once again hit its stride as a relevant and precious medium, embraced with gusto by the fashion world. Where once New York held the vital pizzazz of names like Tony Viramontes and Antonio Lopez, it seems today London has picked up where the Big Apple left off, with William Ling’s Fashion Illustration Gallery in Mayfair leading the pack as a hub for talented illustrators young and old. Celebrating their 20th century heroes amidst a crop of new talent, FIG opens its 2014 summer show this week with an exhibition celebrating the seminal works of the American artist and illustrator (and Studio 54 regular) Richard Bernstein. Bernstein’s painted, sliced, and stenciled celebrity designs graced the covers of over a decade’s worth ofInterview Magazine issues from 1972 into the mid-’80s.

Bernstein’s designs were often mistaken for those of Warhol (who would have turned 86 last Wednesday), but, as Warhol himself exclaimed: “Sometimes people think I do the cover ofInterview. Well, I don’t; I haven’t the time. But Richard Bernstein’s faces are wonderful. They’re so colorful, and he makes everyone look so famous.” Often crafted from celebrity portraits photographed by the likes of Herb Ritts and Albert Watson, Bernstein’s works evolved the hyper-coloured, pop aesthetic of the magazine’s early years—his shading, collage, and airbrush methods transforming the likes of Diane Keaton, Mick JaggerAretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Matt Dillon, and Elizabeth Taylor into dazzlingly graphic incarnations. “It’s interesting that some of the biggest photographers of the era were prepared to have their photographs painted over,” [...]

You’re One Orgasm Away From Sanity

Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure.

The preoccupation of conforming to either of these powers reaffirms the binary relationship between them. Whereby the existence of pleasure at any given moment decreases the existence of pain and vice versa. Considering them as one, allows for a varied response to the states of play and torture. Pain as a state of sexual pleasure is a well-documented phenomena; bodies reveling in the limitations opposed by the tools of inhibition no longer instills fear into the hearts and minds of the ordinary. Sexual pleasure as a cure for pain is lesser known and unlike the former is often categorized as a short lived chemical experience, wherein the release of oxytocin promotes a sense of calm and a state of well-being. Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) the Austrian psychoanalyst was famed for developing methods to harness the powers of pleasure and he preoccupied himself with the functionality of sexual satisfaction.



In his book The Function of the Orgasm (1927) he concluded that ‘there is only one thing wrong with the neurotic patients: the lack of full and repeated sexual satisfaction.’ To Reich sexual repression could be shed and a ‘genital utopia’ could liberate and revolutionize the masses. It was always a question of geniality, but not of impulsion as he has so often been misread in advocating. It was not about ‘free sexual expression’ and ‘obeying the impulses’ of desire, nor about constant masturbation or sexual gratification, it was about realising an individual morality or what Reich termed, a ‘non-natural existence.’


It was believed that ‘natural’ morals are concerned with the following values; sex is desirable if one is with a partner they love, promiscuity and perversion are insipid and pornography is [...]

A Chat with Miki Vialetto, Co-curator of Time: Tattoo Art Today

Since “Time: Tattoo Art Today” opened on July 3rd at London’s Somerset House, the exhibition has been redefining the way the public views tattoos and their creators. While the exhibition focuses upon tattooing, it has departed radically from recent shows by featuring artworks that, while created by tattooers, are not tattoos. Predicated upon tattoo’s growing popularity and influence into mainstream art culture, this exhibition explores how some of the most influential tattooers of the last thirty years have been creating work that re-imagines the medium of tattoo and its artistic potential.

For the exhibition, the co-curators, publisher Miki Vialetto and tattooer Claudia De Sabe selected 70 tattooers–including Chris O’Donnell, Horiyoshi III, Alex Binnie, and many others–to create works revolving around the theme of “time,” not on skin, but using the materials traditionally associated with fine art. By freeing tattooers from the constraints of collaborating with clients, the show hopes to focus on the ways in which the practice of tattooing and the aesthetics of tattoo and flash have reached an audience outside the medium. From Shawn Barber‘s incredible time-lapse painting of Kim Saigh to Chris Garver‘s classical nude, with undulating dragon “tattoos” resembling china porcelain, the exhibition not only provides an outlet for tattooers to expose their work to a greater public, but also reveals the many influences from art history upon tattooing.

Sang Bleu recently caught up with co-curator Miki Vialetto to chat about the exhibition.



What were your goals for this exhibition when you were first conceptualizing it? How did you first approach Somerset House with the idea for this show?

The idea for this exhibition emerged from the desire to create an event to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the London Tattoo Convention, which will take place this September. At [...]