Wednesday 12 December 2012

All images photographed from the fifth issue of Sang Bleu:

1) from an email interview with Tessa Kuragi by Ben Perdue, photographed by Adrian Wilson

2) photographs of performance by Nicola Jungsberger, Kyrill Krylow, Andreas Schildbach & Dasmiya Baddhansiri, photographed by Mali Lazell (who, incidentally, took one of my favourite images of Agnes Obel in one of my earliest posts)

3) first and third images from a series curated by Alex Binnie, founder of Into You Tattoo in London. Both photographs taken by Adrian Wilson, tattoos by Tomas Tomas at Into You Tattoo | second image of  Xed LeHead taken by Paul Vickery

4) advert for Boudicca Wode, an art fragrance that begins as a cobalt blue liquid

5) same as first (Tessa Kuragi interview by Ben Perdue, photographed by Adrian Wilson)

My boyfriend is writing one of his final essays this year on tattoo culture, and it just so happens that one of the lecturers in the English and Drama department here at QMUL, Dominic Johnson, just finished a stage piece based around tattooing - 'Departure (An Experiment in Human Salvage)', funded by Arts Council England (whose event on young people in the arts & museums I recently attended). Dominic lectures in Performance and Visual Culture at QMUL, where he finished his PhD, and is an established performer in his own right. He's well-known for more 'extreme' performances involving live piercing and other painful acts, and has worked with famous artists such as Ron Athey. In 'Departure', Dominic had his hands tattooed live by Alex Binnie, asking whether tattoo in itself can be called performance - he also wrote a great piece for the Independent asking this question. 

Conor made an appointment to see Dominic about his work, to have a chat about the essay, and Dominic kindly lent him the fifth issue of Sang Bleu - normally worth around £70, although it's around £25 for this issue now (Christmas, anyone?). It's a wonderful publication, and also has a great online presence, but it's a little out of my price range for the moment, so it was great to have a closer look at it, snap a few photographs for future reference and grab some new artists to research. It's not just based on tattoo culture, but also art, literature, film, photography, fashion and even fetish, which means it's basically all of my interests in one dark, beautiful package.

The issue comes from Creative Director Maxime Buechi and is guest edited by my favourite tattoo artist, Thomas Hooper (who I had a tiny chat to at this year's London Tattoo Convention). The design and attention to detail is something else, honestly. Little things like page texture, thickness and spacing really make the magazine a treasure to keep, and I'm sad it's having to disappear out of my life. It sounds a little sad, but these things can make or break an art magazine in my opinion; paper quality is a massive bugbear of mine, and if I ever end up working on publications (cross fingers) then it's going to be a big thing for me. Sang Bleu has a mix of glossy and matte pages, sometimes even changing from one to the other over the same image in a double page spread, which I really loved - it's interesting to see how paper texture changes the way an image prints, something that we have to take into account at CUB magazine for our lovely matte pages.

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