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Book Review – The Mismade Girl by Sasha Grey

May 7, 2018
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I believe that by this point Sasha Grey dispenses any further presentation – she is one of the few adult stars that made a transition into “mainstream” culture and doesn’t seem to have suffered from her previous career choices. (I am particularly fond of a music project she collaborated with, aTelecine).

If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough, you will know that this is not the first time that I review one of Ms Grey’s books. The first in the trilogy was called The Juliette Society and you can read my review here.

I have to confess that I didn’t get to read the second book in the series but the publisher Cleis Press was kind enough to send me a copy of the third and final title in the trilogy, “The Mismade Girl”. Don’t let this stop you from picking up this tome – there are enough references to the previous happenings for the story to make sense.

The main character of the series, Catherine, is now a well-known journalist who gets offered the scoop of her life by a powerful man, Mr X. I don’t want to give too much of the story away in this review so I’ll leave it at that. I will instead say that Ms Grey has a very fertile imagination when it comes to risque situations! Another aspect that I enjoyed about the book is how BDSM is portrayed – Ms Grey knows what she is talking about and has many reflections on it throughout the book. It’s inevitable not to mention the 50 Shades of Nonsense book, as unfortunately, it’s still the most popular book on the subject, that perpetuates a lot of misconceptions – even recently, a new film in the series came out and I didn’t bother to watch it but this review is not only hilarious but also says all you need to know about what is wrong with it.

Anyway and going back to the book at hand, I think that the author’s writing has matured and while there are still a lot of thought wanderings about all sorts of things like relationships, sex, etc, they didn’t feel as shoehorned in as much as in the first book. This was an enjoyable piece of erotica and a great read to make those intolerable commutes in London a little bit more tolerable.

To purchase your own copy of The Mismade Girl, go here. 

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Art – “Pound£and” at Blue Goat Gallery

February 27, 2018
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After a few months of preparation, it finally happened: I had my first solo show in Berlin, at Blue Goat Gallery. This was a show organised in collaboration with Boner Magazine, the largest +18 free magazine in circulation in Europe (if not the world).

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The work created for “Pound£and” was based on materials from Boner Magazine (and other titles from the same publisher) and it is meant to be a fun approach to sex and porn, as well as a celebration of sexual freedom.

However, as the work was being created, it was shared on social media and it had the effect of uncovering a feeling of discomfort (and subsequent censorship), particularly around the images containing any suggestion of gay sex. This appeared in stark contrast with other imagery produced previously, featuring the female form, which faced no backlash.

That has opened other avenues that will no doubt be explored in the future, focusing on freedom and resistance to censorship in art. This is a subject that I intend on writing about further in the future. For the time being, enjoy some of the images from the show!

Many thanks to Carmen and Sandra at Blue Goat Gallery for letting me show at their space and also to Boner Magazine for all the support and friendship – plus the double page feature and all the promo! Also thank you to everyone who came and partied along with us, we had a great time!

Continue Reading…

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Art – Some new work…

November 19, 2017
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I haven’t been posting much as I have been busy trying to sort out my life – paying bills and creating art and more opportunities to show, etc. I have left the life of having a full-time job for the time being as I couldn’t cope anymore and I am doing some work as a freelancer plus picking up odd jobs here and there. To be honest, I’ve never felt better… albeit a bit tired after days in which I end up walking 11 miles…

Recently I hit my busiest time as an artist, having work in four art shows at the same time, including one in Brooklyn New York. So happy! Hard work pays off and it’s certainly starting to pay. Looking at my art CV, I will have participated in 14 group shows and 2 solo shows by the end of the year. Many more will be happening next year, including a solo show in a Berlin gallery. Pretty cool!

One of the shows I have put up recently (and is still up until next month) has been “Call Me”, at Number 90 Bar in Hackney Wick, via The Number Gallery.

The pieces included in this show are calling cards I have found in phone boxes around London, to which I’ve given the Hello the Mushroom treatment. The idea behind it is to be a bit cheeky and poke fun at beauty standards and what is considered sexy in our culture.

Here are some of the pieces for your enjoyment:

 

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You can see (and buy) all of the pieces at The Number Gallery website.

If you’re looking for girls curtains, they’re to be found somewhere else… (don’t ask)

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Art – Interview with Inspiring City blog

July 4, 2017
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Recently I’ve been interviewed by Stuart from Inspiring City blog – where you can find the best artists and street art from London. So chuffed!
Head on to his blog to check out all the nice pics and the write up. Thank you Stuart for featuring me!

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Watch the interview and a doodle below!


Thank you for looking!

PS: All content on this post is copyright by Inspiring City, who has very nicely allowed me to chare it with you.

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A day out in Calais with Help 4 Refugee Children

June 27, 2017
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Recently a friend put me in touch with Help 4 Refugee Children and they gave me the opportunity to travel as a volunteer to Calais, to do art workshops with the children.

One might think that there are no more refugees in Calais – mostly because the Jungle has been destroyed and the media’s attention is now somewhere else… but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are still people living in appalling conditions – mainly in tents, in the woods, with no electricity or running water. The police come by regularly to take away the few sleeping bags and clothes they have and there have been reports of police brutality, even against children.

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Of course, what we managed to do in just one day out there in one of the camps is only a drop in the vast ocean, but I’d like to think that at least for a little while we made a bit of a difference in these people’s lives. Our governments have failed them and failed us, by creating the conditions in which people feel the need to run away from poverty and terrorism. If we can’t or are unwilling to pressure our governments to do something about it, at least the few of us that care can roll up our sleeves and do our bit. If we all did that, a huge difference could be made.

I joined the rest of the group in the early hours of Sunday morning and we got driving south, towards Dover where we can cross the Channel. The drive down was uneventful, we had a chat and got to know each other a bit more and got on the train – a new experience as I’ve only travelled via plane or Eurostar when leaving the UK islands.

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Rolling up our sleeves

Soon we arrived in Calais and headed to the supermarket, to buy water and food to distribute at the camp. After filling three carts to the brim with water, biscuits, fruit and dates, we worked on getting them separated into individual parcels in the supermarket’s parking lot. It was great teamwork and the sense of accomplishment after we finished getting all 250 parcels together was great. We then headed to the camp, where we distributed the food in the most respectful way possible. I was also happy to see that there were also other people providing some help – a generator for them to charge their phones, as well as a mobile barber and hot meals, were some of the help I saw being provided by other groups.

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This went well and as soon as the food was gone, we brought out the paint and canvases. Turns out the adults also wanted to join us and I spent more time with the adults painting and helping some of the children do some art. It was a lot of fun and it seemed like the people were happy to have a little respite from the hardship they’re currently enduring.

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Some of the men spoke English and were very nice, so it was possible to communicate, at least with some of them. Most of the people in the camp we visited are from Iraq and are Kurdish. I met an artist – who studied art for five years and showed me his ceramic sculptures on his phone. Another gentleman created a piece by cutting stencils and using them to create a heart motif, which he gifted to me once finished. It was a very sweet gesture and I will treasure this piece for the rest of my life. Proof that even when in distress, people can still be kind.

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When interest in painting was lost (and the wind got worse) we got out the skipping rope and had a laugh with the kids. One of the girls in the camp wanted to show us her family so she took us through the woods to go visit the camp where her sisters were staying. It’s heartbreaking but still, they had a smile for us.

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Coming back home

I returned home feeling happy to have been able to do at least a bit for people in distress but also with a heavy heart, knowing that there is still so much that could be done and it’s beyond my own powers and ability. On the drive back we were all tired and quiet for most of the time, so I had a bit of time to think about what I had just experienced. It made me feel emotional at one point, to think that we had to leave them all behind and just get in the car and go back home because we were lucky to win the nationality lottery. It is sad to think that one day this could be any of us if the world continues to go down its current route. According to Foreign Policy, the levels of human conflict are still at an all time low, but considering what we’ve been experiencing and seeing lately, who knows if it’s going to last?

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As a friend said to me, everyone should do this kind of volunteer work – it helps put the world and our priorities into perspective and most importantly, it makes a difference in other people’s lives. I am now hoping to be able to raise funds to go back again. Winter will come at one point and life will be even harder for them.

If you can’t come to the camps but would like to help the effort, please donate generously here.