MASTURBATION
Facts, history, practices and social analysis

In-depth and serious article about the social and religious history of masturbation, and today’s perception, practices, and medical facts.

Being a freelance artist, I know some people assume that I’m a jerk.
Well, I actually probably work way more than most of them.
Anyway, what is it so bad in masturbation that it can become an insulting word?
Some years ago, I wrote an article about the phenomenon for BPM magazine.

MASTURBATION IS NOT A CRIME

Summer is coming. The long-awaited sun made a triumphant return, invigorating the bodies and the souls. Carved out of precious materials, the skirts of young sexy girls show long shapely legs. Leaning on the cafés terraces, feverish boys get absorbed by a beautiful bare hip suggesting the birth of a string. Excited by such a riot of beauty, I decide to take my pleasure in hand…

masturbation illustration

Illustration of a young man taking pleasure.


 

SEXUAL LIBERATION

Even today, in a society that seems to advocate gender openness and sexual liberation, masturbation remains a huge taboo (I say huge but size doesn’t matter ). Yet, whether on television, radio or press, sexuality is a powerful and often over-used marketing tool. Once “deviant” practices such as sodomy or swinging become more commonly accepted, democratized by the pornography industry. Since home video appeared in the 80′s, later followed by the rise of the Internet, access to representations of sexuality in all its forms is now easy. Pornographic DVDs sales and specialized website’s success prove that masturbation is popular.
Strangely enough, solitary pleasure is something most people wouldn’t talk about, and the activity remains confined to the intimacy of a pocket-handkerchief.
Yet numbers speak. In a 1993 survey conducted by the ACSF (Analysis of sexual behavior in France), 84% of men aged between 18 and 69 confess to have masturbated during their life. Women get 51% of positive answers. This result also shows a decrease in their reluctance to report the activity, considering they were only 19% to express it in 1972 (Simon report). Looking at such results, it can be argued that masturbation might be the most common sexual activity.
 

SEX, LIES AND RELIGION

“Do not masturbate cause you will become deaf, impotent, sterile, blind, get premature ejaculation, cancer, mental deficiency, and so on.”
Many beliefs surrounding masturbation remain hard to shake. To understand the origin of those superstitions, let’s take a look back at our history. What we want is to understand all the social, medical and cultural factors.
From the antiquity until the eighteenth century, doctors consider that our body is composed of four fluids, and that the balance of their quantity condition our health. Blood, black bile, yellow bile (which is seen in vomit), and phlegm, must be present in our bodies in good proportions. Masturbation is then seen as the source of disease. Semen and vaginal fluid are – according to experts at the time – directly related to our blood volume. Each ejaculation would be likely to cause the loss of a quarter liter of blood. Releasing too much sperm may be fatal! Children and adolescents are expected to produce an imperfect fluid, and are thus saved from physical decay. Masturbatory activities are common and well accepted among children. At the time, no one was surprised to see kids masturbate at school, or during a warm evening with family around the fireplace.
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries bring an increased repression. Moralists, relayed by physicians, recommend against the risk of sickness. Pleasure outside of procreation becomes an immoral activity. Also, fear of masturbation is a way to hide the lack of medical knowledge. Scientists use it to explain the cause of many unexplained diseases such as cancer or syphilis, deafness, and more. Some of those beliefs persist even today.
Until the 30′s, Western Societies creates new techniques to “help” people. At night, the boys are advised to wear two pants, or even mittens, to attach their arms while parents should consider burning the daughter’s clitoris. The Church spread a feeling of guilt among its followers. The official for the Catholic religion still consider this practice “as an intrinsically and gravely disordered.” Yet nothing in the biblical writings directly condemn this particular sexual activity. One passage in the Bible can be interpreted as about masturbation, albeit indirectly. “Thou shalt not commit adultery. [...] And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from thee: for it is better for you that one of thy members should perish and that thy whole body should be cast into hell. ” (Mt.5 :27-30) It is impossible to be sure that the ‘right hand’ makes a direct reference to masturbation.
In Islam, we find the same scenario. One text and its interpretation are also remains largely subjective. “Successful indeed are the believers [...] who guard their chastity (from illegal sexual acts) Except from their wives or those whom their right hands possess, for then, they can not blame them, while those looking beyond these limits are transgressors. “(Surah 23 / Verses 1 to 7). The question is whether the masturbatory activity will “look beyond these limits.” For most schools it is yet prohibited, each theological branch of Islam agreeing to consider it as a sin. However, it is still possible in cases of extreme emergency, if it allows the believer to avoid a more serious sin such as fornication (or ‘zina’). However, to try to reduce the repercussions of the evil just committed, the person must then ask Allah for forgiveness.

MANUAL REMEDY

It will be understood, masturbation is still far from letting go superstitions and get a proper recognition. But despite religious moral, some scientific studies show positive effects … with unsuspected evidences.
Masturbation may prevent prostate cancer. Knowing that each year there are 40,000 new cases and 10,000 deaths because of the disease, the hypothesis is not to be taken lightly. A team of researchers from Melbourne in Australia studied from 1994 to 1998 the sexual habits of a thousand men under age 70 suffering from this form of cancer. Their answers were then compared with those of another thousand men of the same age and in good health. The conclusion is clear. From 20 to 40 years old, the more a person ejaculates, the less he may develop a prostate cancer. Ejaculating more than five times a week would even cut by one-third the risk of developing the disease during a lifetime! Some components of the sperm may in fact have carcinogenic properties in case of stagnation in the prostate channels. Considering those result, healing could be within reach. Soon enough your family doctor may prescribe you a good handjob…
Another U.S. study (by Laumann, Gagnon, Michael and Michaels) conducted in 1994, reveals other equally startling results. This time it concerns both men and women. This survey shows that people who engage in solitary pleasures at least once a week would experience orgasms during almost every sexual intercourse. Better understanding of the body or less inhibited acceptance of fantasies? In any case, masturbation would be inevitable in any further sexual relationship, for singles and even within couples. This view joins that of Prof. Henard, chairman of the French Society of Psychoanalysis in the 60′s. For him, “the fun does not need to be shared to be legitimate”. He believes – like most sex therapists – that masturbation would not serve to replace the couple’s sexuality, but to better understand one’s own body, and being more able to show what feels good to its partners.
In all countries, all studies agree on two points. It is easily understandable that the practice of masturbation can decrease as people age, physical performance tending to decrease. However, it is more surprising to discover that among men and women surveyed, regardless of their age or geographical origin, the higher the education level is and the more they say they masturbate. Next time someone tells you that students are wankers…
 

SEX TOYS

Ignorance, hypocrisy, or lack of imagination, the medical community stay in any case far from reality when it comes to describing the diversity of possible masturbation techniques. There is agreement, however, to separate male and female practices on the issue.
If the “hand manipulation of the penis back and forth” is humans most common sexual practice, yet it is by no means the only one listed. While the speed and rhythm of the movement vary greatly depending on the person, all kinds of caresses and manipulation remains possible. However, other less academic usages coexist in this process. For example, let’s speak about the so-called ‘dead hand’ technic. It consists about sitting on his hand for a few minutes to temporarily stop blood flow, and wait for the member in question be become insensitive. The person will then feel that masturbation lavished by his hand ‘asleep’ is performed by another person. The imagination can be set in motion, according to the fantasies of the moment. There are also other practices, although less hygienic, but just as surprising. Some people fill out a dishcloth with a pasta dish cooked in advance, before they insert their penis, thus reproducing (very roughly) the sweet and mellow of a woman’s sex. A variant of this practice can be made by ripping a watermelon or a cake filled with cream (yes you saw American Pie). Nothing limits the possibilities, if not the imagination of the subject.
All these practices are quite inexpensive. But if men don’t have to empty their purse to masturbate, it is quite different for women. Of course, the most common self-stimulation is also a manual stimulation of the body. The woman can combine an infinite caresses of her clitoris, her labia majora and minora, the various erogenous zones of their bodies, and the penetration of her vagina. But a juicy business can enhance their practices. Various objects and utensils have proliferated on the market of female sexuality. The dildo made an entrance into the world of fashion, through the ‘Sex Toys’ proposed by the designer Sonia Rykiel, or colorful vibrators from Hello Kitty. But these items have not waited to enter a trendy circle to exist. In 1880 the English Joseph Mortimer Granville invented the electromechanical vibrator to ease medical orgasm. In the nineteenth century to fight against female hysteria, doctors recommend women the stimulation of their clitoris, until orgasm. The vibrators then left hospitals to join sex shops, making their social acceptance more hazardous. But these adult toys now make a discreet return among the public, through the meetings ‘fuckerware’ held across Europe and North America. Modeled on the meetings of the brand ‘Tupperware’, the idea is to disinhibit the housewives by offering her to buy directly, with her friends, the gadgets of their choice. Around a biscuit and a glass of tea, participants can confidently share their views about lubricants and double dildos. Discretion assured, sent anonymously, satisfied or refunded. For example, French La Redoute, has for many years a vibrator in his catalog … to firm the skin.
Until girls get a firmer skin, let’s continue to take our sexuality in hand, away from taboos and moral judgments. We can eventually consider, like Woody Allen does, that masturbation “is having sex with the person you love most in the world.”

Garbage Pail Kids
JOHN POUND

Garbage Pail Kids founder John Pound in BPM magazine

Here is an article I wrote in french for BPM magazine about John Pound, the legendary founder of the Garbage Pail Kids.
More about John and the Garbage Pail kids.

Garbage Pail Kids cards

Garbage Pail Kids cards

CRADE COMME UNE IMAGE
Mathieu le Dégeu, Pascal Troudeballe, Renée Morvoné. Ces noms ne vous rappellent rien ? Nous sommes au début des années 90 et un gang de scatophiles est en train d’envahir les cours de récréations. Ils se font appeler La Bande Des Crados et sont alors en passe de devenir les héros de toute une génération de gamins. Un doigt dans le nez et l’autre sur la gâchette de leur pistolet (à eau), ils épouvantent les parents et ruinent les économies des enfants. Ces terroristes en quadrichromie ne sont pourtant ni les membres d’une organisation révolutionnaire, ni des fanatiques religieux extrémistes. Ce sont tout simplement des personnages de BD, imprimés sur des stickers et vendus en France par la société Panini. Mais qui se cache derrière ces créations tendancieuses ? Le gourou d’une secte coprophile, un punk frustré apologiste du mauvais goût ?

John Pound article in BPM magazine

John Pound article in BPM magazine

BORN TO BE WILD… ENFIN PRESQUE
John Pound a été bercé tout au long de sa jeunesse par l’univers visuel des “cartoons”, les dessins animés américains. Ce qui surprend le plus chez cet enfant destiné à devenir une icône de l’underground Yankee, c’est l’éclectisme et quelque part le conformisme de ses goûts. Des productions Disney aux Looney Tunes, il est ouvert d’esprit et est alors loin de ressembler aux sales gosses qui feront plus tard sa renommée. Pas de doigts dans le cul à l’heure de la récré ni de vomis intempestifs sur la maîtresse pour ce garçon bien sage…
C’est seulement en entrant à la fac, quelques années plus tard, que le jeune homme s’encanaille en découvrant le monde de la bande dessinée. Son domaine de prédilection se tourne plus particulièrement vers son versant le plus contre-culturel. Les dessinateurs Robert Crumb ou encore Rick Griffin deviendront dès lors ses maîtres à penser et son travail portera à jamais la marque de leur influence. C’est-à-dire l’influence d’une œuvre qui pour la première fois dans l’histoire des États-Unis porte la sous-culture au rang d’art de vivre. Pound commence donc quelques croquis, et les premiers coups d’essais dans le journal de son école se transforment rapidement en coups d’éclat. Il n’en faudra pas plus pour le conforter dans l’idée de se lancer plus sérieusement dans l’univers de la bande dessinée, et de tenter d’en faire son métier. Deux trois coups de crayons plus tard, et le jeune homme commence à se forger une solide réputation dans le milieu. Il apparaît dans les meilleurs journaux indépendants consacrés à la discipline, du célèbre MAD magazine en passant par Last Gasp.

Garbage Pail Kids

Garbage Pail Kids

QUAND LE PROUT PROUT DEVIENT PROUT
Art Spiegelman est à ce moment une autre valeur montante des “comics” underground US. Embauché en 1984 en tant que directeur artistique par la société Topps Gum Co., il décide de faire appel à Pound pour peindre une série de stickers illustrant des packagings pour la marque. À l’époque aux États-Unis, les “Cabbage Patch Kids”, sortes de petites poupées un peu fleur bleue, connaissent un véritable succès auprès des jeunes filles. Pound choisit de les détourner dans ses peintures en créant les “Garbage Pail Kids”, version “affreux, sales et méchants” des poupons originaux. Topps est séduite par l’idée et décide de lancer une série d’autocollants sur le thème. Le principe est de créer sur chaque autocollant un personnage graveleux et d’associer son prénom à un jeu de mot, le tout dans un esprit pipi-caca, ou plutôt vomi-morve au nez. La marque demande à quatre artistes de faire des propositions sur le thème.
Pound sera le premier étonné en apprenant que c’est lui qui est retenu pour dessiner la série. À la différence des autres dessinateurs, ses illustrations sont assez subversives et peuvent sembler loin des aspirations commerciales d’une entreprise. Mais le choix s’avèrera concluant car ce qui suit dépassera les espérances de chacun. En quelques mois, les stickers connaissent un succès national, et l’engouement démesuré du grand public provoquera la rupture de tous les stocks. Les gamins s’arrachent les cartes obscènes à l’école, tandis que les associations morales et chrétiennes crient au scandale. Et en quelques années, les cartes sont éditées dans de nombreux pays et la réussite américaine va se transformer en un triomphe planétaire…

John Pound magazine cover

John Pound magazine cover

CACA ET COCAINE
En France, les stickers sortent en 1989 sous le nom des Crados. Alain Pinto, un ancien journaliste passionné de bd, rachète la licence licencieuse, tandis que les noms sont adaptés par Béatrice Brocard, une journaliste de Libération. Jean-Louis Dégeulis, Laeticia Pudébras, ou encore Pervers Bebert font alors une entrée fracassante dans les cours de récré et les gamins trouvent enfin des cartes à jouer dont l’humour correspond à l’univers salace qui les fait tant rêver. Mais à l’instar des réactionnaires américains, La Bande Des Crados ne fait pas l’unanimité dans les sphères du pouvoir. Michel Rocard se dit “atterré” par le phénomène. Sûrement aigri par son pseudo, Lionel “Poubelle” Jospin fait même une intervention télévisée pour menacer de les interdire. Cousteau quant à lui tente de faire son commandant et patauge dans des injures alarmistes. Dans son journal Calypsolog, il écrit, “Parent ! si vous ne réagissez pas immédiatement et énergiquement contre cette pollution des esprits, ne vous étonnez pas si vos enfants partent à la dérive et finissent à la cocaïne.” Une rumeur court même pendant quelques temps, affirmant que l’encre utilisée pour imprimer les cartes contiendrait justement de la cocaïne ! À 2,50 francs le paquet, un bon investissement pour les junkies. Blacklistés à l’Élysée, les gros poissons de la mafia Crados vont-ils devoir se réfugier hors des eaux territoriales pour échapper aux déferlantes d’injures de Cousteau ?

John Pound artworks

John Pound artworks

RECYCLAGE D’ORDURES
Pendant ce temps aux États-Unis, ce n’est pas tant l’esprit pseudo-scato qui fout la merde, mais plutôt une action en justice pour plagiat, intentée par la compagnie qui édite les Cabbage Patch Kids. Après 15 séries, Topps arrête sa production et décide de ne pas sortir la 16ème, pourtant déjà prête. John Pound doit alors se tourner vers de nouveau projets et donner un second souffle à sa carrière. Il décide de recycler en partie le concept des Garbage Pail Kids en créant les Meanie Babies, pastiches des peluches animalières Beanie Babies. Le principe est le même et n’amène pas véritablement d’innovation, le seul changement étant que les bébés ont laissé la place à des animaux. De la même manière, Pound continuera d’exploiter le filon du détournement en créant des Silly Cd’s, séries de cartes parodiant des pochettes d’albums (les pochettes de 6Pac ou encore de Destiny’s Chilled restant cependant assez funky…). Infatigable, il crée en parallèle des visuels pour les planches de skate de la marque Shorty’s. L’esprit des Crados continue de hanter les créations de l’artiste, peut-être un peu contraint de reproduire l’imagerie qui à fait son succès.
Gardons-nous toutefois de croire que Pound se contente uniquement de vivre sur les acquis de sa notoriété. Il possède désormais davantage de temps et continue de se consacrer à la partie la plus personnelle de son art. Il se lance dans la programmation informatique et commence à travailler sur des petits programmes permettant de créer de manière aléatoires des bandes dessinées très simples, à partir de scripts. Le résultat est surprenant et innovant, les histoires et les images créées étant le fruit de calculs produits par l’ordinateur lui-même. Encore au stade plus ou moins expérimental, le principe est quasiment révolutionnaire car l’intervention humaine dans la création est remise en cause.
John Pound n’a pas fini de nous surprendre par ses univers décalés, en nous révélant à chaque création une facette nouvelle de sa personnalité. Et peut-être qu’en ces temps d’aseptisation culturelle, il pourrait bien faire un retour fracassant avec une version de Tamagoshis qui chieraient vraiment ou une Barbie lubrique qui se ferait vraiment Ken (héhé).

Slimy Snot Buster artwork by John Pound

Slimy Snot Buster artwork by John Pound

Swoon
STREET ART OF THE WEEK

Swoon, inspiring street artist

Street art can be poetic, touching and beautiful.
Swoon is American street artist who specializes in life-size wheat paste prints and paper cutouts of figures. She started doing street art around 1999, after moving to New York City.
This urban art recognized veteran is still very active today with a lot of exhibitions around the world.
Surprisingly, one of the influences of this American artist can be found in Indonesia. Some of her artworks were inspired by the “Wayang Kulit”, which is the traditional Indonesian shadow puppet theatre.
More about the inspiring female street artist

Swoon indoor mural

Swoon indoor mural

Portrait of the street artist Swoon in action

Portrait of the street artist in action

Tyson Mc Adoo
SEXY GIRLS OF THE WEEK

Tyson Mc Adoo draws sexy girls.

And I love girls too.
Every Wednesday, I decided to post what is becoming your favorite collection of illustrated babes. This week, I focussed on the artworks of the English artist Tyson Mc Adoo.
I particularly love his invisible series that shows girls under wears in suggestive positions.
More artworks of sexy chicks
You can also find all my posts presenting artworks inspired bysexy girls here.
Looking at the inspiring artworks, I have to say that I think that the English artist must be a fetishist…
I’m just saying…

Another invisible chick artwork

Another invisible chick artwork

Tyson Mc Adoo invisible sexy chick

Tyson Mc Adoo invisible sexy chick

Tyson Mc Adoo goes doggy style

Tyson Mc Adoo goes doggy style

Artwork of a nice woman with big boobs

Artwork of a nice woman with big boobs

High heels shoes artwork

High heels shoes artwork

History of gang culture in America
BOYZ ‘N THE BLOOD

The history of gang culture in America:

A four pages article for the ‘Red’ issue of WAD magazine.
The great photographer Estevan Oriol liked it and gave me some of his photo to illustrate it!
Learn more about the history of gang culture in the USA.
Do you know how the battle between the Crips and The Bloods first started?

We could hardly deal with the theme of ‘Red’ in urban culture without going to Los Angeles. It may be the City of Angels and all possibilities, but Los Angeles is also the cradle of gang culture and bloody shoot-outs. You know the cliché: the Bloods dressed in red protect their neighbourhood and head off around town to find some Crips to gun down. But behind the bandanas and clinking bling-bling hides a social phenomenon that finds its origins in the very roots of American culture.

HOW DID THE GANG CULTURE START?

“NIGGA QUIT LYIN’, YOU’S A NIGGA FOR LIFE” – SNOOP DOGG
The story began in the 1920s when less than scrupulous landlords invented racial restrictions aimed at stopping African-Americans from living in Los Angeles’ traditionally white neighbourhoods. With the help of some reactionary laws, the landlords stopped all possibility of different communities mixing, and contributed to the reinforcement of a ghetto feeling among the population. Over the years, this segregation established until, by the 1940s, it was a social reality. Racial conflict grew at the same speed as the growth of the ghettos on the east of the city and with more and more people arriving, the neighbourhoods (whose geographic limits were strictly contained) were soon overcrowded. Despite this, the white community continued its firm, overtly racist stance on territorial claims and continued its opposition to the creation of new mixed-race neighbourhoods. The feelings of hate and fear grew to the point that the Ku Klux Klan, which had all but disappeared 20 years earlier, was reborn. Some of the young white population banded together to create “street groups”, small groups whose stated aim was to fight any attempt at integration. Spook Hunters, for example, was a genuine neo-fascist militia beating up blacks who dared to adventure out beyond the perimeters of their allotted urban space. In reaction to this persecution, the first black street groups appeared with names like Devil Hunters, dedicated to protecting themselves from attacks. As black groups sprang up, the white population gradually began to leave the centre of the city, attracted by the expansion of the new suburbs. The neighbourhoods of Watts, Central Avenue and West Adams emptied out and became the cradle of new African-American gangs.
The 1960s saw the first black-on-black conflict. Black groups from different parts of Los Angeles began to face each other down under the cover of claims to different territory. The brawls between eastern and western neighbourhoods became common; the fights were mainly hand-to-hand (even if knives were used occasionally) and murders were rare. The main aim was each neighbourhood gang’s desire to prove to the other group the supremacy of its neighbourhood, while winning the respect of the old-timers.

POLICE ABUSES:

“I BRING CHAOS TO BLOCKS LIKE THE RIOTS IN WATTS” – METHOD MAN
Overcrowding wasn’t the only reason for the overriding feelings of distress. The misery of daily life was added to by an oppressive police presence. Police brutality insidiously reinforced the social pressure and feelings of persecution already growing within the population. The tension was already at a peak when in 1965 the violent arrest of a black driver lit the touch paper… and Watts exploded. The ensuing rebellion and series of violent riots lasted a week, with around 10,000 people taking part in the protest movement. The police were only able to restore order after 34 people had been killed and over 1,000 wounded. Yet it was in the ashes of this social upheaval that the consciences of a people in crisis were awoken. Influenced by the ideology of the Black Panthers and the US Organization, street gangs became radically politicized. The initial aim of the gangs, which over time had become blurred, was brought sharply back into focus through the spreading neo-Marxist message of Black Nationalist militants. Up until that moment, the battle had been a physical one (a defence of the neighbourhood from attack), but post-Watts it became a political battle to defend the neighbourhoods from the attempts at government subjugation. When black extremist organizations threatened to become some of the most important socio-political forces in the country, the police and the government began its attempts to thwart their irresistible rise. The powers-that-be created new paramilitary units (SWAT teams) to combat more efficiently any risk of future riots. The head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover ordered his agents to try all possible methods to create splits between the different parties. The FBI and CIA reproduced the plan dreamed up to fight Communism: set up a propaganda campaign portraying the political movement as ‘dangerous’ for the general population. This witch-hunt kindled divisions between the Black Panthers and the US Organization, the two main parties. By the early 1970s, the murder of one of the leaders of the Black Panthers, blamed by the police on the US Organization, can be seen as the beginning of the end of black political groups’ influence in Los Angeles.

estevan oriol

Photo by Estevan Oriol

BABY CRIBS & PIRU STREET BOYS:

“I SEE BLOODS AND CRIPS RUNNIN’ UP THE HILL” – 2PAC
The end of the 1960s saw the arrival of a new generation, one that had witnessed the height of the Black Panthers’ power and then watched in silence as it agonisingly collapsed. A whole generation marked by people they saw as social role models. They may have been too young to have taken in the political message, but they remained heavily influenced by the movement’s spirit of protest and fascinated by the party’s dress codes. And it was this attraction to the Panthers’ famous black leather jackets that was at the origin of the creation of the biggest gang in history. In 1969, Raymond Washington, a 15-year-old school kid, gathered together a few of his neighbourhood friends and founded the Baby Avenues, also known as the Baby Cribs. The gang’s original idea was to keep the revolutionary message alive and to protect the neighbourhood’s residents, but their interest quickly turned to more illicit activities. A look was central to the group and its identification with the Black Panthers pushed the members to sport black leather jackets. The gang dedicated itself to looking out for the famous jackets, attacking anyone wearing one and then stealing it. These attacks marked a turning point in Los Angeles’ criminal history when gangs went from fighting themselves to attacking the general population. The media were quick to jump on the gang’s criminal activities, in the process creating a certain aura that had an impact on the city’s young population. There has never been a clear explanation of the Crips name but one is that a local newspaper’s wrote Crips instead of Cribs and the typo stuck. Whatever the reason, from 1972 the gang became known as the Crips. The gang’s image was developed and honed. Between robberies and break-ins, the members paraded around in their jackets, carrying walking sticks and wearing earrings in their right ears. The ‘uniform’, aimed at bringing together the increasing membership, was then borrowed by various political/Mafia-like gangs in Chicago (such as the Disciples and Folk Nation). The increasing violence continued and it didn’t take long for the first murder to be committed: a 16 year old beaten to death for his leather jacket. The media coverage of the event did nothing to dissuade people from joining the Crips or creating their own gang. The phenomenon spread like wildfire, giving a population that had so often been marginalized a way of taking centre stage and finding an identity. At the end of 1972, there were more than 20 gangs and no fewer than 30 murders had been attributed to them. Due to their numerical superiority, the Crips terrorized the other gangs without fear of retribution. The Piru Street Boys decided to unite a number of gangs to create a solid anti-Crips union and protect themselves from the constant intimidation. The Bloods was born and the battle could begin.

CRIPS VERSUS BLOODS:

“GO BACK IN THE DAY, BRITISH KNIGHTS AND GOLD CHAINS” – MISSY ELLIOT
As time went by, the clothing rules of the two sides were established. They allowed the two gangs to affirm their unity and played a major role in the construction of their identity. In opposition to the Crips, who adopted the colour blue and wore their accessories on their right side, the Bloods dressed in red and wore their earrings and jewellery on the left. In prison, where uniforms made colour recognition impossible, members pulled up the trouser leg on the side that matched their gang affiliation. This practice was adopted in the street and even took in baseball caps (the peak was either worn turned to the left or right). The English brand British Knights saw its sales figures explode when the Crips decided to adopt its shoes, less for their looks than the significance of the logo: BK suddenly stood for Blood Killers. The Bloods responded by choosing Calvin Klein with the CK logo standing for Crips Killers. Affiliated with Chicago’s Muslim-influenced Almighty Black P. Stone Nation, the Bloods kept that group’s religious imagery and used the five-pointed star of Islam as their emblem. Over time, the red and blue colours were integrated into the tiniest details: bracelets, fat laces, socks, belts, rings, badges, bandannas, and so on. Some members even went as far as dying the inside of their pockets, which could be easily hidden should the police roll up. The two sides also wore Dickies and Ben Davis khakis, as well as flannel Pendleton shirts.

GANG CULTURE TODAY:

“GANGSTA, GANGSTA! THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE YELLIN'” – NWA
The foundations for modern gangs were laid in the 1980s. As an omen of the escalating violence that was soon to arrive, Raymond Washington, the Crips’ founder, was assassinated in 1979. From that moment on, no fight between the gangs could be settled without a bloody shoot-out. Gang territory moved out of its original inner-city ghettos, first across Los Angeles, then into many of the US’s larger cities. The savagery also grew exponentially and between 1980 and 1995, Los Angeles saw the creation of 150 new gangs, for the most part affiliated with either the Bloods or the Crips. The epidemic continues to spread to this day, reinforced by the catalysts of a number of cultural and social phenomena. Over the last 25 years, unemployment has continued to rise, generating in an already fragilized population a sense of bitterness and despair that sees no possible way out of its lack of prospects. In a more insidious way, cinema and music have contributed to spread the movement’s seductive image. The success in the early 1990s of gangsta rap and films such as ‘Boyz n the Hood’ and ‘Menace II Society’ (even if these films are far from rallying calls to the gangs) contributed to the popularization of the image of the gangsta in American society.
Today, the situation seems to be delicately balanced. With 400 gangs and around 50,000 members, the future of Los Angeles could be bloody. For the moment, while the number of gang members continues to rise, the murder rate has stabilized. The gangs’ aspirations for revolutionary change seem to have been definitively consigned to the past and it can be seen as a shame that the ghetto imagery has too often overshadowed political ideals. The gangsta has become a representation of a spectacular side of American folklore. The gangsta is now an icon, but one whose image is more useful in oiling the wheels of capitalism than fighting the problems of segregation and poverty that brought it into existence in the first place.

KOA
Art direction for L’Attrape Rêve fanzine

Koa take control of an art publication.

For the third issue, the art publication Attrape Rêve asked the French artist Koa to take care of the art direction.
This publication brings together various artworks, and is available in a limited edition in a couple of shops in Paris, from the Centre Georges Pompidou to La Galerie du Jour to the Palais de Tokyo. Hurry to get yours.
Mega will be the next one…

Attrape Reve cover by Koa

Attrape Reve cover by Koa

L'Attrape Reve gives Koa total freedom over the art publication

L’Attrape Reve gives Koa total freedom over the art publication

Double spread pages artwork

Double spread pages artwork

Feel free to check the video presentation of the publication.

ALEXONE
Michto Le Chien Chaud sculpture by YOMEK

Alexone sculpture Michto Le Chien Chaud.

Yomek just released a new bronze piece called Michto Le Chien Chaud for AlëxOne.
This 1st Black Bronze Cast was presented at Galerie LJ in Paris and produced in a super limited quantity of 8.
More about Yomek.
More about the French artist Alexone.

Michto Le Chien Chaud is bronze sculpture made by Yomek for Alexone

Michto Le Chien Chaud is bronze sculpture made by Yomek for Alexone

Original drawing by the French artist Alexone

Original drawing by the French artist

Detail of the bronze Sculpture produced by Yomek

Detail of the bronze Sculpture produced by Yomek

Sculpture signature detail

Sculpture signature detail

Chris Sanders
SEXY GIRLS OF THE WEEK

Chris Sanders draws sexy girls and I love his artworks.

I like girls.
Every Wednesday, your favorite collection of illustrated babes. This week, LA artist Chris Sanders, who joined Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1987 as the first person hired into Feature Animation’s newly formed visual development department. He worked on Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, or Mulan. After 20 successful and inspired years at Disney Animation, Sanders recently moved to Dreamworks Animation where he is currently directing his next animated feature film.
More about the US illustrator Chris Anders.
All sexy girls.

Drawing of a sexy girl by Chris Sanders

Drawing of a sexy girl by Chris Sanders

Illustration of a sexy chick trying her bikini

Illustration of a sexy chick trying her bikini

Artwork of a sexy girl trying a bikini

Artwork of a sexy girl trying a bikini

Cute girl playing with a small fox

Cute girl playing with a small fox

Sketch by Chris Sanders

Sketch by Chris Sanders

Interesni Kazki
STREET ART OF THE WEEK

Interesni Kazki is a street artist duo from Ukraine.

Sometimes street art feels like classic wall painting.
Interesni Kazki is a street artist Ukranian duo from the new generation.
The duo’s member are AEC and Waone.
Their art feels lie it could have been made in an other era.
And I mean that like a nice thing.
Because maybe that’s what happen when your art is timeless.
More about the Ukrainian street art duo Interesni Kazki.

Inspiring street painting on a building

Inspiring street painting on a building

Interesni Kazki wall artwork for an exhibition

Interesni Kazki wall artwork for an exhibition

Huge urban painting

Huge urban painting

Ukrainian street art

Ukrainian street art

Stanley Lau aka Artgerm
SEXY GIRLS OF THE WEEK

Stanley Lau aka Artgerm is a Singapore artist who draw sexy girls inspired by super heroes.

I like girls.
Every Wednesday, your favorite collection of illustrated babes. This week, Singapore artist Stanley Lau aka Artgerm. Born and bred in Hong Kong, the multifaceted Stanley wears different hats as an illustrator, designer, concept artist, creative director and co-founder of Imaginary Friends Studios — a world acclaimed digital art studio that produces high quality artworks for the likes of Capcom, DC Comics, Square Enix and other giants in the entertainment and gaming industry. Formally trained in graphic design and advertising, Stanley’s art is imbued with a strong sense of aesthetics and visual fluidity. It is a perfect blend of eastern and western art styles. Better known by his handle Artgerm, Stanley’s art continues to infect and inspire new generations of artists and his ever-growing fan base around the world. Recently, Stanley was contracted by Capcom to provide new character artwork for the upcoming releases of Street Fighter III Third Strike Online Edition.
More about the Singapore artist Stanley Lau

Another artwork of a sexy girl with big boobs by artgerm

Another artwork of a sexy girl with big boobs by artgerm

Cat woman artwork by Stanley Lau

Cat woman artwork by Stanley Lau

Drawing of a sexy chinese girl on a breeze day

Drawing of a sexy chinese girl on a breeze day

Black Pussy Cat artwork

Black Pussy Cat artwork