It’s 1985 and I’m on a mountain in the Angeles National Forest and someone has opened the gates to the loony bin. A three-day shindig for alternate religions: witches; warlocks; Satanists; doomsday Christians; Unarians from space; ghosts and goblins; psychedelic druggies; wizards and elves… I’m naked and taking pictures of all of them.
Here’s a new fashion spread called “70s Porn.” I think they’re using porn in the disaster porn sense, with an emphasis on the first word, as opposed to in the anal porn sense, which would place the emphasis on the second word. But here’s the twist: there are boobs.
What Not to Wear This Halloween
Oh, Halloween. The worst night to get a cab and the best night to take home a slutty Disney princess. Is it really a holiday, since we don’t get the day off from work? Of course it is, because when else could you get nudity in massive quantities, enough facepaint to excuse you for bringin home a five, and cauldrons full of shame the next day.
Before you skank-it-out at a house party, leave your credit card at the bar, or turn into a weirdo roaming graveyards, you’ll have to pick out a Halloween costume interesting enough to spark a conversation with that five. You’ll have to navigate the thin line between offensive enough to be clever and overcompensating with complete stupidity. For those not smart enough to use all three digits of their IQs, we’ve brought you a guide on what not to wear on Halloween, so when you only pick up your sexy pizza-slice costume off the floor the next morning and not also your dignity.
Who sells that? Amazon.
What’s it supposed to be? A “realistic black Kenyan man”—perfect for doing the Harlem Shake (um, what?).
Why shouldn’t I wear it? It’s racist.
What kind of person wears that? A bigot.
Who makes that? aleXsandro Palombo, for his website humorchic.com; a “daily society portrait blog, the best illustrated fashion chronicle, a point of view about costume, politics, culture, society, and celebrity. aleXsandro Palombo is the father of fashion satire, visionary artist, author, and critic.”
What’s it supposed to be? It’s a T-shirt of Amanda Knox holding a bloodstained knife.
Wasn’t she acquitted of murder? Yes.
What kind of person wears that? The kind of person who believes they are the “father of fashion satire.”
Moscow Is a Paradise
Sasha Mademuaselle's favorite city is Moscow, which isn't all that surprising given it's where she was born and raised. Sasha says that what she particularly loves about her hometown is “the freedom the youth have,” which—considering the recent news aboutPutin viciously restricting freedoms for young people—was kind of surprising.
Still, her photos are great, so we’ll just excuse that last part as narrative license and enjoy all the naked people, dinosaurs, and creepy tattoos instead.
Swedish photographer Lina Scheynius used to be the queen of Flickr in the early 00s. Back then, she posted pictures of her life, her friends, and self-portraits. Her photos received attention for their extremely intimate and sincere nature—or, to put it another way, many of them were pictures of her naked.
Today, although not much has changed in her subject matter, Lina regularly photographs for magazines like Vogue, Dazed and Cofused, and Oyster. For her personal work, Lina publishes small, private volumes of her pictures, with the fifth volume, titled simply 05, just released. I caught up with her for a chat.
VICE: Hey, Lina. In your new book, are you focusing on the same body of work as in your other personal photographic diaries?
Lina Scheynius: Yes, though naturally it keeps evolving over time. But there are still only pictures of what is right in front of me and part of my life. This book is also full of self-portraits, something I have gone back to focusing on lately.
Do you make a distinction between personal work made for yourself and personal work with publishing in mind?
Not really. It’s a bit of a mess on my hard drive, to be honest. I don’t really know what is what until I end up publishing it. I don’t take a lot of straight up and down personal pictures, such as family pictures at fun fairs and Christmas dinners, but if I do you never know what you might end up using them for.
The Art of Taboo – Ren Hang
Being a radical artist in China is a pretty tricky prospect. Considering censors banned paradigm of inoffensive banality Katy Perry from the country’s airwaves for supposedly being too vulgar (and not forgetting that time authorities made Ai Weiwei disappear for posting seminude photos of himself online), you would have thought that Chinese photographer Ren Hang would lay off filling his portfolio with gaping buttholes and models pissing on each other, or sustaining his unparalleled level of dedication to photographing erect penises.
But he hasn’t, which is a good thing, because his photos are great—somehow managing to desexualize naked bodies and turn them into sometimes funny, sometimes beautiful, sometimes gnarled, hairy, human-shaped sculptures that make you want to get naked with all your friends, paint your dick red, and hang out on a roof in Beijing. Which is basically the end game all photographers are going for, right? I wanted to talk to Ren about his work, so I did. Here’s that conversation.
VICE: First off, why is everyone naked in basically every single one of your photos?
Ren Hang: Well, people come into this world naked and I consider naked bodies to be people’s original, authentic look. So I feel the real existence of people through their naked bodies.
Is that why the bodies aren’t presented in a kind of conventionally “sexy” way, even if the photos are sexual?
No, I don’t take photos with any particular purpose or plan—I just grasp whatever comes into my mind, arrange that in front of me and take a photo of it. I don’t pay too much attention to whether a scene is sexy or not when I’m taking photos.
Yeah, a lot of the bodies end up looking more like kind of grotesque sculptures.
That’s not really intentional, although I do consider bodies as sculptural—or, as you say, grotesque sculptures—so I suppose the sculptures exist because the bodies exist.
If you live in San Francisco and like photography, topless girls, or having a good time, you have only one place to be tonight: Sandy Kim, who takes great photos in the process of documenting the kind of carefree life your parents always worried you’d have, is having an art show at the Ever Gold Gallery. She’ll be showing all new work, much of which features the aformentioned topless girls (and some dudes, for you girls and you, ahem, San Francisco men). Sandy’s been taking photos for the magazine for awhile, so she has our stamp of approval. If you need more encouragement, take a gander at these images she sent us that serve as a preview of the show. C’mon, San Francisco! It’ll be fun!
Opening for Sandy Kim
September 5, 7-10 PM
Ever Gold Gallery
441 O’Farrell St
San Francisco, CA, 94102