SWANSEA LOVE STORY
VBS befriends a gang of young addicts caught up in South Wales largely ignored heroin epidemic. Our intimate look into their lives shows how economic depression, family breakdown, and addiction create unbreakable cycles for the people in their grip.
We’re really excited about this one and hope you are too! Look out for it on February 12th on VBS.
Look at this little guy! Those glasses… That sweatshirt… The funny look on his face… So, what do you think? Is he a Do? A Don’t? Tell us!
You can click right here to see our thoughts on the matter.
SPAIN’S FINEST - RAMON SAN MIGUEL PAINTS OUR NATION’S MOST PERFECT TITS
Ramon San Miquel is a painter who lives in his grandfather’s old dentist’s office, which is situated deep in the Catalonian mountains and looks like Dracula’s lair if was moonlighting as a rural orthodontist. Actually he divides his time between there and a fairly regular studio in Madrid’s Sierra, but why sell the guy short.
Ramon’s part of a school of Spanish artists that include photographer Alberto Garcia-Alix and oil-painter Jorge Isla, and whose subjects can largely be divided into piercing artists, drug addicts, and naked girls. While this kind of material may have lost its “edginess” a while ago in New York or London, the Spanish public is just coming around to it. Garcia-Alix has gone from shooting portraits of porn stars to holding a retrospective at the Reina Sofia and joining the Spanish Aristocracy. Jorge Isla is still relatively unknown, although his gothic oil-on-board paintings seem to appeal to retired drug dealers, and members of Madrid’s piercing and tattoo communities.
Out of this friendship circle, (which also counts Toño Camunñas and the mexican tatoo artist Dr. Lakra among its members), I like Ramon’s paintings the best. Working in pencil and watercolor on canvas, his nudes have more in common with contemporary photo portraiture than the sometimes cartoonishly symbolic work of his peers. He also paints a great tit.
Anyways, here’s a chat we had with him in the bowels of Dr. Acula’s old dental practice (that joke doesn’t work in Spanish, so please enjoy it for what it’s worth).
One couldn’t really say Reid Peppard is obsessed with dead things, exactly. More with finding beauty in and making use of discard. Thus, she builds purses and hair combs out of found animal carcasses. Recently featured on CNN, Reid and her work were called “garbage… stupid… crazy… disgusting” by people happy to wear leather and eat meat and eggs procured cheaply even though the lives of the producing animals are painful, cramped, and drugged from beginning to end; while Reid’s raw products lived scampering or high-flying through the streets, sewers, and skies of London right up until their demise.
She is my favorite designer. She is so pleasurable! I would wear nothing but her taxidermied collection if I could afford it. In a mass and indistinguishing consumption society, it is reassuring that there are some things that remain unaffordable. And so I wear none of her stuff. But since this interview, she and I continue to email each other stories about German cannibals and penis-mutilators. The best things in life are either too expensive (everything Reid makes) or free (gossip and love).
Click here to read Lisa Carver’s interview with Reid. We also provide more dead animal turned into jewelry pictures too. Yay!
LOVE AND ROCKERS
TED BAFALOUKOS TAUGHT US EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT JAMAICA
Theodoros Bafaloukos wrote and directed Rockers, the film that single-handedly made Jamaica and reggae interesting to couch-cozy white folks, their stoner kids, and a bunch of famous English punks with guitars. Today, Ted is not so reclusive as he is remote, spending his time at his childhood home on the secluded Greek island of Andros. Over 30 years after the movie’s release, we made the long journey for this, his first-ever print interview.
In addition to screenwriting and filmmaking, Bafaloukos was also a production designer for three Oscar-winning directors (Barry Levinson, Errol Morris, Jonathan Demme) and has helped conceive countless famous music videos, including that one for Aerosmith where Alicia Silverstone bungee-jumps off a freeway overpass in a flannel and then flips off Stephen Dorff.
After a brief tour of his house—several hundred paintings and images of magnified snake parts dot the walls—he sat us down and started thumbing his way through some old photo albums. Many of these were from his time shooting Rockers. As you’ll see, it’s a trove of archival happiness.
Check out more photos and read the interview here. It’s a good one.
POWDER AND RAILS SEASON 2 - DAVE SEOANE
Dave Seoane’s takes us for a tour of his basement live/work space in Portland, OR. Dave’s home office constitutes world headquarters for renowned Nemo Design. With Dave, we talk about the good old days of the early Tahoe scene and his transition from snowboarder to filmmaker. Dave’s turn behind the camera is well known among snowboarders: his oeuvre includes some of the most creative snowboarding movies ever made like Roadkill, Subjekt: Haakonsen, and The White Album.
From filmmaker Pierre Wikberg:
When I saw Subjekt: Haakonsen for the first time a new world opened up. I guess the film was quite different from other videos at the time as far as intro, parts, etc were concerned. A lot of it was filmed in Riksgränsen, which was my neck of the woods. Dave Seoane, Terje Haakonsen, and company made that place look like the best place on Earth: creative jumps, lines and some very fun, organic, uncontrived riding.
Check out previous episodes of Power and Rails here.
CRANKING TO SONIC YOUTH
Ben’s third zine this winter (after Don’t Tread on Me and California Dreamin’) consists of photos taken at ATP in Minehead last month, when he and a load of guys from our London office, as well as US editor Jesse Pearson, went to the festival to film interviews with J. Mascis, Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember, Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon for VBS.TV. As with everything Ben does, it looks like more fun than most people have in a year crammed into a few days. There are guns, parties, music-y people, karaoke and fireworks. What more do you want?
Clicking this long blue line will take you to a magical place (more commonly referred to as viceland.com) where you can peruse through more titillating book reviews compiled by the Vice staff. You won’t be disappointed.
AN INTERVIEW WITH JACK FRITSCHER
Jack Fritscher is the award-winning author of hundreds of stories and articles, and 20 books including Gay San Francisco, Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San Francisco 1970-1982, and his memoir of his bicoastal lover, Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera. He is the founding San Francisco editor-in-chief of the legendary international leather magazine Drummer. He is about as informed as anyone on the history of erotic fiction, its importance, and the state of erotic publishing today. According to him, religion and nipple clamps were invented for the same reason, namely that everyone likes being bottom of the domination pile.
So what is it about fiction that is so important?
Storytelling is important to the human psyche. It is quintessentially important to GLBT culture in its final uncloseting. In the 1970s, gay magazines worked to develop gay authors. Drummer magazine helped create the very leather culture we reported on each issue. Now killed by the internet, that fertile magazine culture that churned out new material every 30 days has been replaced by dozens of annual gay-fiction anthologies of the splendid kind invented by the Canadian critic Richard Labonte and edited by, for instance, the legendary Susie Bright in her straight-and-gay mixer Best American Erotica.
I am an academic who immigrated from the university ivory tower to the corporate world, and to the gay dolce vita of GLBT publishing. Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. In my hybrid career, I’ve written academic books and papers, biography, history, and fiction, and directed films. These days many gay fiction authors are trending toward publishing autobiography, biography, and non-fiction history. In 1968, I was impelled to write Leather Blues as an erotic-fiction novel and send it to a publisher. In 2009, one is more likely to shoot a video documentary about S&M leather and post it on YouTube.
Check out the rest of the interview here.
Remember that video we posted yesterday that VICE Brazil shot at the most recent Smirnoff Experience party in Sao Paulo? Evidently Pedro from Bonde Do Role was there shooting his OWN secret rival documentary. His is less of a general partylogue and more of a man-on-the-street type thing, but the impudence is galling all the same. We hope this doesn’t end in A VICE-vs-Bonde baille funk dance-battle. Anyhoo, watch in delight as Pedro runs around the joint making suspicious, hyperbolic claims and mispronouncing the band name YACHT.
Let’s get this Friday going with some amazing birthdays. Sound good?
Let’s get started! Cliiiiiiick heeeeeeere!