Brutales Matanzas – Danny Fox and Liam Sparkes

Sang Bleu friends painter Danny Fox and tattooer Liam Sparkes will be having a joint exhibition at Maison 1575 in Paris opening tomorrow evening. The exhibition will run until the 31st of March and tomorrow evening you will be able to buy limited edition screen prints at the private view which starts at 7pm and closes at 10pm.

Liam will be showing new flash sheets and Danny will be showing worked based on lady boys after a recent trip to Thailand.

More information can be found here

Liam Sparkes

Danny Fox


Ashkan Honarvar – Power Collage

Ashkan Honarvar is a contemporary collagist whose recent work has focused on manifestations of evil. From colonialism to murder and post-Civil War public lynchings, his work attempts to question where evil comes from and what it means. How do notions of knowledge play into the execution of cruelty, and what does this seemingly inherent death and decay of our physical bodies do on a universal scale? His work employs a variety of images, from scientific illustrations to medical imagery to amateur photographs of cadavers. By physically manipulating images–cutting, slashing, and splicing them together–Honarvar enacts his own violence, creating new wholes.

The images presented here come from 4 different series of Honarvar’s work. In each of them, Honarvar examines the intersection between “objective” knowledge and power. Conquest 5 (2014) addresses the colonization of Africa and the underlying motives of fiscal power and submission by using images of “native purity.” These National Geographic-style images were, in reality,  often highly staged to display prescribed Western visions of “primitiveness.” American Still Life (2013) takes  highly controversial lynching photographs to expose the entertainment potential and commercialization of lynching documentation, exploring what the images’ contemporary potency can tell us about continued racism. Identity Lost (2013addresses the loss of humanity of the figures in medical photographs for the sake of scientific objectivity, and finally, Terra Nullius (2013) exposes the scientific, Darwinian justifications used by Americans and Europeans to seize land from “inferior” natives during the 1800s. The notion of a hierarchy of knowledge types has been continually applied in agriculture; narratives about “land efficiency” have often justified the seizure of tribal lands by Colonial powers to serve commercial agricultural purposes (like rubber, sugarcane, etc.). Similarly, the prizing of Western pharmaceuticals over herbal medicines, is ironic given that we frequently synthesize plant chemicals as medication… The collages’ current [...]

Gaston Lachaise and Louise Bourgeois: A Juxtaposition

For this year’s ADAA: The Art Show, New York’s Cheim & Read Gallery are holding  A Juxtaposition, presenting the works of two iconic 20th century sculptors Louise Bourgeois and Gaston Lachaise, examining their works side-by-side as a means of attempting to extract new meaning.


The exhibition , by positioning the work of the two artists who share a wealth of similarities in each of their personal and professional biographies,  attempts to re-contextualize the works, aiming to continue a fluid and open dialogue about works of art that have been presented to same audiences numerous times before. Whether simply a means of finding reason for their continued, repeat presentation, this format of exhibition forces us to examine the works not only from a new light but within the innumerable contexts in which the works would have been created, especially in the case of those artists whose work owes something to their own innate experiences and those which are deeply biographical.


The sculptors, both Paris born and relocated to New York ,  explore intimately similar subject matters that were almost exclusively shaped by an interest in sexuality and the body. Bourgeois, whose abstract forms are reminiscent of the form of human flesh, Lachaise’s more figurative, but still highly stylized representation of the female form accentuating the voluptuous figure; round breasts and hips with slender, almost sinuous limbs. “Contrary to Don Juan, and to what many feminists may feel, Lachaise did not exploit women but enjoyed them,” says Louise Bourgeois of Lachaise’s work.”To be a sex object is a flattering experience.”

The exhibition begins Wednesday 5th March.

10 Questions: Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura on “Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World”

Tattooing by Yokohama Horiken

For most within the tattoo world, Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura needs no introduction. Aside from being a renowned tattooer, Kitamura boasts an impressive resume as owner of State of Grace tattoo shop in San Jose, co-organizer of the Bay Area Convention of Tattoo Arts, and author of a number of widely-published books including Bushido: Legacies of the Japanese Tattoo (2001), Tattoos of the Floating World: Ukiyo-e Motifs in the Japanese Tattoo (2003), and Tattooing from Japan to the West: Horitaka Interviews Contemporary Artists (2005). We recently caught up with Kitamura to discuss his most recent endeavor – curator of the Japanese American National Museum’s upcoming exhibition Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World. Composed primarily of photographs by Kip Fulbeck, Perserverance showcases tattooing by a number of international artists and will surely be a landmark event within the history of tattooing. Just days away from the March 8 opening, Kitamura discusses with us, among other things, how the exhibition came to be, the artists involved, and the various issues that arise when organizing a show of this magnitude.

The exhibition takes place at the Japanese American National Museum – the largest museum of its kind in the United States. How did the exhibition come to fruition and why is the Japanese American National Museum such an appropriate venue?

Perseverance is the result of a bold move by director Greg Kimura and his staff. Dr. Kimura has long been aware of the increasing popularity of tattooing as a whole, as well as the appreciation and ubiquitous nature of Japanese style tattoos. This piqued his interest and he called on Kip Fulbeck, (professor, author, artist, poet, photographer, awesome guy extraordinaire) who has exhibited in the past with the Japanese American National Museum (JANM). Kip has [...]

Urban Primitive: Raven and Daemon Rowanchilde

I recently came across this fascinating interview from with body modification artists Raven and Daemon Rowanchilde talking about their ritualistic events which is frankly too good not to share.


BME: You’ve organized a number of ritual events in the Toronto area, including an annual ball dance / kavadi. How did these come about, and could you tell me a bit about them?

RAVEN: The ritual events came largely out of the growing number of people who had experienced powerful psychological transformations during their tattooing, piercing or scarification experiences. Daemon and I had over a decade of experience with bodily ordeals as rites of transformation. Since Urban Primitive provided a supporting atmosphere in which to have these types of experiences, many people starting asking us if we would organize more community-based events. As a student of social anthropology at U of T, I focused the majority of my research on pain inducing, body modifying rituals of pre-industrial indigenous societies. In particular, I became interested in male genital modification and that interest translated into a paper that I got published in the journal Human Nature. My interest in body modification extended into the varieties of ways that pre-industrial cultures explored voluntary pain induction as spiritual ritual. The spiritual component of pain rituals constituted an almost universal phenomenon among pre-industrial indigenous societies.


Also at that time, Fakir Musafar had been actively involved in his own explorations of pain rituals. Initially Fakir’s focus was to simply explore techniques used by other cultures to attain ecstatic states of consciousness. These early explorations appealed to Daemon and I.



Rituals of the flesh act out committment.


- Raven Rowanchilde, UP: TUJ 

BME: What role does spiritual ritual play in a society that appears (?) to be largely devoid of [...]

Speculative design and the body

Speculative design and the body

The body has never been complete, or at least the body has remained a construction site for improvement, exploration, extension and expression since the dawn of time. And for the most part, this isn’t a bad thing. Imagine being content with the 20sqf of skin encasing the mundane movement of fluids, food and shit. Better to imagine (and patiently wait for) a time when men can finally endure the menstrual cycle.

Thankfully, the increasingly intimate body/tech relationship has attracted artists and technologists keen to practice god-like autonomy. The results are speculative objects, products and scenarios that aim to match or predict the requirements of our social climate in extreme ways.

See below for more details on products that aim to push the body and in turn, perfectly solve our contemporary needs.

Traces of an Imaginary Affair

The desperation to conceal ill-directed lust has been flipped to expose a niche where self-imposed bite marks, bondage burns, scratches and bruises can be used to advantage. The silver collection presents nine tools allowing users to recreate intimately violent traces on the skin. Designer and lecturer Björn Franke has even considered stray perfume, hair strands and lipstick as necessary additions to his set. Inspired by ‘stories of people who used fake evidence of victimisation or illness to receive attention from others’, Traces of an Imaginary Affair would seem like a sure fire way to tease some jealousy out of a lazy spouse.


Goosebumps Simulator

This simulator is a hairy adhesive that you attach to the back of your neck and will start searching for the first signs of a Goosebump. Once the application detects a hair erection, it not only then raises the artificial hairs on the adhesive but also creates more Goosebumps. The aim, through creating an influx of Goosebumps at anyone time, is to see what kind of emotion will [...]

Who is ?

Akhen Aten is the 21 year old behind the popular tumblr Unlike the usual juxtaposition of inanimate words that create most URL names for post adolescent tumblr users Akhen’s deals with his own situation much more directly. He lived in Zimbabwe until 2003 and was born there in 1992.

Crammed with what we all expect of the carefully sculpted attention to the creation of a digital self of this kind of tumblr user, the webcam selfies, nostalgic images from the most recent turn of the century and most importantly photographs of tropical plants, however Akhen page separates itself from what so easily becomes tumblr pastiches while still representing the aesthetic.

You might be thinking why are we interviewing the creator of a tumblr? What makes the bedroom fuelled narcissism of a digital profile important for you to read about? Everyone is now guilty of creating an internet self which exaggerates or shuns a truth to our physical self and as the internet excels the ways in which we express ourselves, the ways of creating an identity becomes more and more complex. In our world now where everyones mother has a Facebook how can we differentiate one profile to the next, what makes someone stand out?

Many use tumblr as a way to produce a false sense of their own experiences, a way to make a nostalgia before its inception could ever happen. But more than anything the internet has made the creation of the self a democratic chance for anyone to attract anonymous popularity and even fame for simply being  projection of themselves.

Akhen of course isn’t the only person to do this but its rare to find someone whose internet self is so refreshingly authentic and creative without being so opaquely [...]