An interview with Adam Katz Sinding

Adam Katz Sinding is the man behind the hugely popular street style blog Le 21ème and he recently exhibited a selection of his black and white photographs at the Sang Bleu Contemporary Art and Practice Space which was sponsored by Jura whiskey.

Sinding’s photo’s capture the absurdness of fashion and the people who adore it in a truly perfect way. The models, stylists, photographers and journalists who flock to the ten minutes catwalks in carefully planned outfits to catch the attention of the likes of these blogs are documented by Sinding like a social documentary as they arrive and leave to these elitist and capitalist biannual events.

What makes Sinding’s blog stand out from the others (of which there are thousands) is his refined taste in photographing the elite of the fashion world, the most in demand supermodels post show having a cigarette or the stylists wearing the most desired Raf Simons coat or Prada heels glued to their iPhones. These images are usually paired by Sinding’s ability to balance the contrast of their thin and caucasian features, soon to be out of taste clothing and metropolitan background to a satisfying balance. He doesn’t capture the original, progressive or eccentric dressers like many other blogs but focuses his attention on what is considered the most exclusive, physically beautiful and luxurious.  Le 21ème is a blog dedicated to the people who are passing in the fashion world, the ones who are following its rules perfectly and not questioning what any of it means other than a competitive desire to fit into something they don’t quite understand.

I interviewed Sinding to find out more about his strange life travelling the world immersing himself in the ephemeral, surreal and exclusive energy of the [...]


SB6 Interview with Guy le Tatooer

An Interview with Guy le Tatooer from Sang Bleu issue 6 2013

Guy Le Tatooer has ink in his blood. His father tattoos on the Pacific Island of New Caledonia, and taught his son the trade in 2000. After six years working in the family shop, perfecting Polynesian tattoos, Tatooer relocated to Toulouse, France. His personal style is a mix of cultural reference points. He describes it as .intemporal.. More explicitly, it is a mix of folk traditions and a keen distillation of classic symbols of all global tattooing. Ultimately, he’s into really brutal tattoos with a power impact. Outside of body marking, Tatooer has also experimented with the exhibition of his art in galleries. In 2011, he showed a series entitled .Tattooed Arms. at Paris’ La Galerie Gimple & Muller,

a literal interpretation of tattoo art. He employed silicon arms, mounted in frames, to focus attention on how icons fit on the body. Tatooer, works with Rafel Delalande, another artist who has helped popularize bold, black articulations of traditional motifs. You might call this .educated traditional,. As the idea of the icon is privileged and given voice in the rawest, most direct form.



Hal Fischer’s ‘Gay Semiotics’ at Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles

Cherry and Martin Gallery in Los Angeles hosts Hal Fischer’s series of photographs, ‘Gay Semiotics‘, seen for the first time in its entirety for forty years after they were first exhibited in 1977. Fischer started photographing San Francisco’s gay community of Castro Street and Haight Ashbury in February 1977. It was the first series of work that dealt with the visual iconography of the gay lifestyle. The result is a photographic study of visual coding amongst homosexual men; annotated tableuxs of gay bodies and the reading that their adornment demands.

The exhibition deals with four different themes, the first is ‘Signifiers for a Male Response’ which features the elements of dress that formulate the sexual semiotics used to communicate whether one was homosexual and what their sexual preferences were, such methods of communication were necessary due to the complexity of sexual possibilities.  For example a red handkerchief would signify submissiveness within a sexual act. Keys and earrings had a similar purpose.

‘Archetypal Media Images’ is another section which deals with the documentation of male fantasy, the archetypal gay images as they exist in the media and the urban realm. The characterisation is one rooted in gay magazines, cartoons and pornography. In his essay that accompanied the first publishing of the images in 1977, Fischer notes that ‘Natural’ and ‘Classical’ are mere pictorial structures and subliminal characters in contrast to the more complex ‘Western’, ‘Urbane’ and ‘Leather’ that have more of a role in reality due to their clothing (‘Natural’ and ‘Classical’ feature as nudes). The series also features the media image of ‘Dominance’, ‘Sado-Masochism’ and ‘Submission’.

The staged backgrounds of the archetypal media images are placed beside ‘Street Fashions’ which are staged on San Francisco’s sloped streets. ‘Street Fashions’ are the gay styles one [...]


The ‘underground’ arts scene is now just a click away from the easily offended

 

We’ve decided to reblog this brilliant article from The Guardian about the internet’s effect on how we perceive and interact with contemporary underground culture by Lois Keidan.

A while ago, I received an email at the Live Art Development Agency (Lada) from a woman complaining about a performance art event she had attended in east London. I was one of a number of recipients that included Nicholas Serota and Boris Johnson. She’d witnessed suspended men doing things to themselves that she didn’t like one bit, and her email included an incomprehensible reference to Fifty Shades of Grey .

Not long after that, someone else phoned Lada’s office to complain about being traumatised by a performance in Leeds, and wanted to know why the artists were allowed to get away with such things. More recently, another woman wrote to us, and seemingly any other organisation she could Google in the Hackney Wick area, to protest about the things she’d been subjected to in the venue Performance Space. These are the tip of the iceberg of recent outrage and protest about performance in the UK, but what I find alarming about these incidents is not that these people were shocked and angered by what they’d seen, but that they were there in the first place.

The event with the suspensions was called Modern Panic. It took place in a backstreet cellar and featured an artist called Mad Alan. The Leeds performance was by an obscure group of artists in a derelict space on the outskirts of the city. The Performance Space evening of queer body art was in a hard-to-find industrial unit in remote Hackney Wick. All of these programmes were under the radar, artist-run and aimed at specific “communities [...]


Our favourite books and pieces of history from Brian Cassidy’s book shop

Brian Cassidy is the American book seller who collects the kind of material culture that dreams are made of. Just when you think the internet has served us every kind of reference and visual juxtaposition imaginable, a hard earned academic showers us with these counter cultural oddities. From the most personal of home made collections of photography found in the depths of the provinces, the most desirable zines to the rarest editions of iconic literature, Cassidy has it all and more.

We’ve trawled through his impressive website and chosen some of our favourite pieces on sale for you all to marvel at, from tattooing, pornography and subculture, Cassidy excels in the joy of academic research by discovering the unknown and forgotten.

You can read a little interview with him from the Washington Post here, and you can visit his website to see his excellent books and oddities on sale here.

 LES TATOUAGES DU MILIEU by Robert Doisneau

 

An early and little-known work from Doisneau. In 1947 writer Robert Giraud (who was fascinated by tattooing), former police inspector Jacques Delarue, and Doisneau (uncredited) prowled Paris’ les Halles and the rues Mouffetard and Maubert looking for criminals, prostitutes, and other tattooed outsiders to photograph for this book. The result — which combined Giraud’s scholarly preface, Delarue’s tattoo designs and explanations (80 in total), and Doisneau’s images — remains one of the most important documents of postwar tattooing and underground culture, a record not only of the tattoos themselves, but of their often veiled significances. The project would have a lasting influence on Doisneau, tempering his more aesthetic and sentimental tendencies: “With [Giraud], I met people on the edge. A group of individuals who lived outside the law. Bob loved to listen to [...]


An email conversation with a Fur Coat Fetishist

Rick AKA The Dragon has a fur coat fetish. He creates images using computer software of women wearing enormous fur coats engulfing 90% of their bodies and then shares the images on his Flickr account where you can find him by his user name ‘dragonmaster12′.

The Dragonmaster creates hundreds of images on computer software to fulfil his fetish of women quite literally drowning in fur coats. What is fascinating about these images is that their reality could be so easily achieved. Google search ‘woman in fur coat’ and thousands of images will surely appear. Or alternatively Rick could photograph a woman wearing a fur coat to share on the internet.  Its the fact that these photos have been augmented from inception by Rick into a situation that has never existed that is so absorbing.

There is something almost haunting about the digital images that Rick makes, the reality of creating an image of a woman in a fur coat closes in on the mundane and  there is nothing instantly sexual about these pictures. Rick reveals no nudity instead we see women engulfed in digital fur usually in domestic situations. The overtly tactile nature to these images with pasted pictures of  smoothly photoshopped women’s faces in a virtual setting of a glamourous bedroom or on a ski resort only adds to their surreal nature. There is also a lack of perspective to the images, a woman’s face will be slightly too small or her body will be static in comparison to her background. Most of the time the amalgamation of layers of fur leave the bodies of the women looking even more out of proportion. Theres a complete lack of continuity to the images but it completely adds to their intrigue.

We decided [...]


SANG BLEU sponsors Le mondial du Tatouage

We are proud to announce that Sang Bleu will be the official media partner of Le Mondial Du Tatouage in March 2015. The tattoo show will run from the 6-8th of March in Paris. We will shortly we announcing our growing involvement with the convention.

Find out more about the convention here