Originally beginning as a printed publication in 2005 by Maxime Buchi, Sang Bleu (SBLDNTTT) started as an experimental vision to reinterpret the norms of modern culture and incorporate, “Art, fashion, sociology, and literature” to society’s segmentations in order to create a product that complemented the progression of new urban society. Subversive criteria such as tattoos, bondage, fetish, and body modification in Sang Bleu are showcased in a way that negates stereotypical interpretations, but instead provides a contemporary approach to bring out the beauty of underground subcultures– which, over 10 years later, has resulted in a mass movement to include the likes of fashion elitists, artists of all kinds, and creative personas looking to influence a progressive culture to the masses.
Image provided by Sangbleu.club
Image provided by Livin’ Cool
Maxime Buchi, creative director, tattoo artist, and visionary of over ten years found that it was time to create a compound for his movement which recently opened about a year ago, as the Sang Bleu London Tattoo Studio. Within it, SBLDNTTT houses all creation for its clothing, art, and tattoos. I can’t even begin to describe the names associated with Buchi’s collaborations with other designers, as well as his tattoo artist network. To even sum up his work in the form of a human canvas is probably priceless. His pieces are visually stunning, and you don’t realize how wonderful tattoos truly can be until you’ve crossed the Sang Bleu path of legends and its affiliates. To name a few who’ve influenced, inspired and attributed to the talents of Maxime’s work as a tattoo artist are Thomas Hooper, Duncan X, Filip Leu (whom he apprenticed under), and Liam Sparkes (pictured above to the right). If you have not heard of any of these artists, I recommend you to check out their work.
Read more on Maxime Buchi and his background here.
Moving on from the background of the Sang Bleu compound and its history, I had the pleasure of witnessing their recent pop up shop in LA, still going on until the end of May. It is a collaboration of those who tattoo at the studio in London, as well as other talented artists, including claws-on-lock Saved Tattoo’s Tamara Santibanez, Philip Yarnell, Norm will Rise, and more. In other words, if you’re into tattoos, and would like to see artwork interpreted in styles beyond the assumption and scope of mediocrity, this is where you’ll find the true grit of what makes artwork on flesh canvas so enticing. As opposed to a parlor, it’s like a live gallery with pieces moving on bodies.
I was tattooed by Damien J Thorn (@Damien.J.Thorn), a neo-japanese enthusiast who has a gift for Noh theatre masks and impeccable line work that isn’t common when it comes to japanese pieces. From the south of France, Damien aka little gem (I renamed him), currently resides in London working with the Maxime and the SBLDNTTT gang. With a lot of discussion of how pieces would lay out on my arm, we decided on a geisha mask to compliment my other sleeve:
Three hours later, Damien finished off with this beauty, and me walking out with whole lot of pain. Looking forward to the start of a new concept on my right arm with Mr. Thorn. If you’re interested in japanese art, Damien’s work speaks for itself, and is one of many talents housed with the Sang Bleu studio. Other examples of Damien’s work are below:
While there no longer is a Sang Bleu magazine, and the compilation has moved in its entirety to digital media, Maxime still plans to release off shoots of the magazine in separate print editions surrounding specificities of the subversive categories. Being an avid follower of Sang Bleu for a number of years now, it was a pleasure to have finally have witnessed a group of artists with such proficiency that really have enhanced the world of tattoo culture to a level that is so well respected. If you get a chance, roll through and check it out before it ends May 31st!
Sang Bleu London Pop-Up @ Imperial Art Studios, Downtown LA
683 S. Santa Fe
Los Angeles, CA 90021