Monday, 15 November 2010

Body Type: Sang Bleu

- Featured in Eye Magazine, Summer 2009 (Author: Keith Miller)

Sang Bleu is an exquisitely designed magazine - a heady mix of fetishism, art, philosophy and popular culture

I love tattoo art. I love design. I love typography. And I rather like fashion design, when done well.
When I stumbled upon Sang Bleu featured in Eye Magazine, I was blown away by the brilliant work on display. Sang Bleu, while a tattoo-focused magazine, is not your typical BMEzine or other tattoo 'mag'.
Sang Bleu is extroadinarily well designed, laid out with care and attention and written with profound insight. The typefaces of the B&P Typefoundry are also featured throughout the publication.
Keith Miller of Eye Magazine describes Sang Bleu:
"The magazine's many photo stories range between a slick, fetishy eroticism, with leather bra'd Sapphists tussling in nightclub lavatories, to a more detached, documentary or even anthropological approach. Where clothes are worn, which is by no means everywhere, their maker is cited at the bottom of the page in a nod to the conventions of the fashion press."

Sang Bleu's editor-in-chief Maxime Buechi explains:
"it's not an end, it's a means...We use tattooing and other underground cultures to talk about other things."
This view is definitely echoed throughout the magazine, with articles ranging from simple narratives to deep philosophical essays. There is real commitment to the tattooed way of life in Sang Bleu, and this relates perfectly to the commitment and die-hard determination of many tattoo enthusiasts. Sang Bleu really shows the art behind tattooing, the lives behind the ink and the stories the tattoos tell. The photography is stunning and inspiring, and compliments the text well. 

Being heavily into tattoo art, typography and photography, I can't see how Sang Bleu could not be a brilliant showcase for all three of these things.
As Keith Miller correctly states in his feature in Eye Magazine:
"It's the commitment, this potential abjection, which makes tattoo culture something other than 'fetishistic', in the rather glib sense that stockings and corsets are fetishistic."
Sophistication in an aspect of life many do not consider to by sophisticated at all, Sang Bleu is much more than a tattoo magazine, it is a true insight into a lifestyle, a thought process and a way of life.

Interested in Sang Bleu? They have a blog here.

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