Swappin' Spit with Liv Girling

We first discovered Liv while doing research for Instant Gratification 2, a homage to the original home made smut: polaroid photography.  Liv's instax series killed us, (you will see it soon enough!) and in the past few months have fallen in love with her entire body of work.  Liv Girling is a romantic, she is a naturalist, she is unabashedly human, and that's what makes her a perfect fit for us.  We talk to Ms. Girling about film photography, her personal life, and her new series, "Kissing."

 

How did you get into photography?

I first started taking photos when I was in high school; My sister & our mates would dress up and snap each other being ridiculous, it was fun and i suppose my interest just snowballed from there. 

 

Why Analogue?

BECAUSE OF THE GRIT ;) 

 

Does your Yashica T5 have a name?

I havent actually named it! I never thought too? its my favourite camera by far though, I never go out without it. I suppose I'm forever saying... 'Where's my Yash?" "Someone pass my Yash?" 

Shall we call it Yash? ;) 

 

What film stock do you shoot?

I shoot using Kodak ColorPlus, It's not overly expensive but thats reflective of my practise, it provides me with an authentic gritty look but colours are still vivid and brash. I love that tenacious DIY vibe runs that runs parallel to the youth. 

 

I love that your work is so journalistic.  Do you consider yourself a journalist?

No not really, I know some people do as I essentially I'm documenting a generation of people with candor and exploiting them to audiences. However these are my closest friends, i take photos of them because I love them & want the rest of the world too see them with as much compassion as i do and so I take their photographs. So I suppose for me I feel my works more autobiographical. Its a visual diary of my life. 

 

What drew you to shooting kissing?

I'm a hopeless romantic and I think there's nothing more important than young love. People dismiss it and almost mock it but your first love is normally the most intense, to me it's raw & real... You give your heart openly too the other person. All the couples I take photos of kissing are real couples that are my friends. I want too capture those intimate moments.  

 

I feel like there is a real lack of romance in media right now, which makes you kind of a love rebel.  I like that.  What (if any)  part do you feel romantic art plays in our current global political climate?  

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I totally agree with you, I feel like romance is dying! What happened to romantic gestures & love letters. I feel social media has somewhat changed how we interact romantically as everything is so hypersexualized, we have lost some of the raw intimacy. 

If you look at the Brits in comparison too our  European neighbours we have a reputation of being awkward & slightly more reserved when it comes too romance, I like that my images opposite this preconception.  

 

Do you feel like you are making a political statement with your work?

 

I don't intentionally set out too make political statements with my work but many people do ask me this question. So, touching upon it lightly I feel any photography that focuses solely on the youth has a potential too political debate but its not something I've focused on particularly with this set of photographs. 

 

Do you ever take pictures of the people you make out with?  

 

I do, however I dont tend too display them as openly as the snaps of my nearest & dearest's falling in love & showing affection. I think its the observation of love manifesting that draws me in too shoot these images. I like capturing an intimate moment in time between two people. 

 

Do you have a Valentine?  

 

I do, he's gorgeous ;) 

 

see more Liv at 

www.livgirling.com

and on instagram

 

 

BAD GIRL 005: SEAN YSEULT

Sean Yseult is my Metal Mother and if you grew up in the 90's, she's probably yours, too.  Fame found her when she played in the band White Zombie (which, obviously we geeked the fuck out over), but on top of being a rock Goddess, a road paver for all bad bitches everywhere, and an effortlessly magical yellow-haired bombshell, Sean is a born artist.  We talk to her about art books, her long love affair with photography, and being a woman in a male dominated art world.  Sean has a solo exhibition on view in NYC art Art on A Gallery through 11/23, don't miss it!    All photos by Sean Yseult

interview: Chelsea Nyegaard

photography: Sean Yseult

 

CN: Lots of people think that you are either more of an audio or a visual person, while clearly you are both.  Do you have a philosophy on transitioning from one art form to another or keeping up with more than one simultaneously?

SY: It’s difficult for me to be creative at both simultaneously. I definitely have months where I am concentrating on visual art, and months where it is just music. I can’t force one or the other to happen though; I have to be inspired by something, see an image or hear a melody in my head that I need to let out. But if I am focused on visuals, as I am right now, I don’t hear any music in my head or have any desire to play an instrument. It’s weird, but I guess it allows me to focus on what I am working on at present.

CN: Is living artfully something that you learned, or something that came naturally to you?

SY: It definitely came naturally to me, but I was lucky to be born in a creative household. My father was a writer and all of our parents’ friends were artists, writers, musicians, sculptors, potters and weavers – so making things and writing music seemed normal. My piano teacher had me performing blue improv on piano in nightclubs by the age of eight!

CN: How did you get into making hand made books?

SY: It is never anything I have wanted to do, but this show I did recently required it. Each panel told a story, and all seven panels together told a story. It was necessary to make the books. I had studied book and paper making back in art school, but was not an expert by any means. I found a friend who had made them more recently and took some notes and did research. It’s not rocket science, but it certainly is a pain in the ass! It was rewarding in the end but I don’t think I would do it again. Of course mine had to include “die-cut” (hand-cut in my case) skull-shaped ball invite inserts, hand-cut keyholes on the cover, hand-torn pages and hand-pressed vellum – it’s making my hands hurt just thinking about it again!

CN: What is your earliest memory of zine culture?

SY: There was a cool zine in my hometown of Raleigh NC called The Blind Boys Gazette. Definitely the first one I ever saw. They would do rude reviews of punk shows like the Dead Boys, in rhymes. And if things didn’t make sense, they would tell you to fuck off because they were blind. Very dada. I was too young to be reading it but it made an impression. There is another zine I still have from a trip to LA in ’83 when I was young and hanging with some punks; it’s called Beyond The Blackout. The Cramps were on the cover and I worshipped them. Then I moved to NYC and our friend Steve Blush opened up See/Hear in the East Village; that was a mecca to zines so we had our pick! 


CN: Do you have any advice for female artists who are playing in an all boys club?

SY: Do things because you want to, not to prove yourself to anyone, especially a boy. That is the one thing that strikes me as so wrong, and sad – when people are doing things – especially creative endeavors – to prove something. That should never be the motivation. As long as you are honest to yourself and doing something because you are driven to do it, you love it, you find it rewarding- who cares what anyone thinks? And who cares if you are male, female, both, neither, or whatever? Do your thing.

 

CN: When did you start taking photographs?

SY: My last year of high school. It was a real turning point for me – up until then I had been at the North Carolina School of the Arts for ballet. I broke my foot in class one day, and the next week I was finishing the summer semester in visual arts. I took immediately to photography and was offered a scholarship to stay in the department. Then my photography got me scholarships to Pratt and Parsons. It all happened quickly.

CN: You shoot erotic female photography, and I heard a rumor that you moonlight DJ at a strip club on Bourbon Street.  First, is that true?  Secondly, what's your stance on the female form and the media/art world?

SY: First of all, I am not known to dj nor have I ever dj’ed on Bourbon Street or in a strip club, although this vision of me definitely has me intrigued! I have never thought of my photography as erotic, but I do have some nudes in my works, and I love the history and beauty of the Storyville girls in New Orleans, which I tried to recreate in my own vision. For me, the female form is far more interesting and worthy of photographing than the male figure, and as far as media goes – well, advertising is going to do whatever it takes to sell something, as long as they have a willing model. I don’t really mind any of it – art, media- if people find someone/something beautiful or compelling to look at, why not let people look? 

CN: I read that you studied ballet and piano before becoming a rock goddess.  I love that you take a classical approach to photographing the female form, it's very poetic.  Are the two related in any way?

SY: I never thought of it, but now that you bring up my classical training, I do see it n my photography also. I’m sure the two are related, at least in my muddled brain somehow or another. Thank you for saying that!

 

CN: Do you think fancy equipment and classical training is necessary to creating a solid body of work?

SY: No – only vision, drive and discipline. My favorite works I have ever shot were on Polaroid Land Cameras I found in thrift stores.

 

CN: Who are your art idols?

SY: Joel Peter Witkins. Gustave Moreau. Rocky Schenk. Gustav Klimt. Marcel Duchamp. Aubrey Beardsley. Andy Warhol. Louviere+Vanessa.

CN: Tell me about your New Orleans.

SY: Graveyards, late night bars, live music, crumbling mansions, amazing food, danger, thick accents, flash floods, decadent parties.

CN: What are the challenges behind being a female artist working on your own versus when you toured with bands and had a team? 

SY: It is really refreshing to work on your own when you have always worked in a group. I find it no challenge at all working on my own, and completely rewarding. Whereas in a band everything has to be up for a vote, cut down, approved, or modified. It’s exhausting after so many years. I don’t know about female or male in this situation, I think people would feel the same, either way.

CN: Can you tell us about your book, "I'm In the Band?" 

SY: It started off as a scrapbook for myself, after Katrina. It was just me, scanning all of my great photos and ephemera I had saved from those days, because I found them three months after Katrina, still in perfect shape on my 3rd floor but mere feet away from a caved in roof. It seemed important to archive everything. Once friends saw what I was doing, they prodded me to get it out to fans. I suddenly had an agent and then a book deal – which lead to the writing within. It has been a great feeling of satisfaction to hear so many nice comments from fans and critics alike, and also that it is in it’s third printing. 

 

CN: At White Zombie's peak you were a major sex symbol.  How did that affect you?  What advice do you have for women who are coveted by the boy-world?

SY: I really did not think of myself that way, even at the time. Being in a metal band, 99% of our fans were guys, but most of them were very respectful of me, and would tell me that I was their favorite bass player along with Cliff Burton. If that’s not breaking down sexist walls, I don’t know what is! They would offer me gifts sometimes, usually things they knew I liked – old bootlegs of Black Sabbath, Hot Stuff stickers, Casper patches, Daddy Roth items . . . but rarely did me being a girl come into the equation. Once in Sweden, a horde of gorgeous Viking-looking metal dudes dropped to the ground in front of me and started saying “We’re not worthy!” which really threw me off! I was never “the hot chick” or anything close to popular at any point in my life, and even with fame, most guys treated me in a way I felt comfortable, just like one of them. But to answer your question: if you do end up being coveted by the boy-world, I suppose my advice would be to enjoy it, and be kind and gracious. And humble. But definitely enjoy it!

 

BAD GIRL 004: JACQ THE STRIPPER

We caught up with the illustrious and downright fucking hilarious Jacq the Stripper to discuss sex work, art books, fart fetishes, and the kickstarter for her new project, Striptastic, which you can order now RIGHT HERE.  

Interview: Quinn Cornchip

Photos: Chelsea Nyegaard

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First of all, it's a privilege to be asking you these questions, I've been a fan of yours for a minute. Thanks for participating! In case any of our readers are just discovering your work, could you tell us a little about who Jacq the Stripper is and what you do in the world? 

Thank you! I'm Jacq, and I'm a stripper, a comedian, an illustrator and a writer. My mission is to spread the gospel of happy sluts. 

You've said "100 Days of Pleasantries " and "The Beaver Show" were meant to humanize sex work - how have civilians reacted to both? 

I've received a lot of positive feedback from civilians after they read my book and comics... a prevailing theme in the commentary is that I make it accessible, which I think is so rad. I love all the smoke and mirrors of stripping, but I think it's important to break it down for people. To remind them that we are also people, that we work hard, and that the work itself is incredible challenging and nuanced. 

 

Do you feel like your work is contributing to lifting stigma from "the industry?"

                     I sure as fuck hope so. 

What was the most amusing or interesting thing you discovered after interviewing over three hundred strippers for 'Striptastic?'

SO MANY THINGS. I wasn't surprised by how brilliant and strong these women are; I already knew that since the day I started stripping. What was shocking was the sheer number of women who were so keen to participate and forthcoming with their stories. So many strippers are tight-lipped about their work because of the judgement and the stigma. I'm so honored that so many women felt comfortable sharing with me. 

Also - the amount of guys who have a fart kink is STAGGERING. There will be an entire chapter in STRIPTASTIC! dedicated to the fart hustle. 

 

Your Kickstarter says that the new book is an "educational journey." What are you hoping people learn from reading?

I hope STRIPTASTIC! educates non-strippers about how brilliantly challenging the job is, and inspires people to come out and support us. I feel like a lot of young people are starting to come to strip clubs to prove that they're cool, but really how great would it be if they came out because they value and respect the art and hustle of stripping? Strippers are FANTASTIC entertainers, and we should be treated with the respect that a great entertainer deserves. 

The Venn diagram you posted of songs to dance to that strippers love and hate and The Stripper Pyramid of Health, Happiness and Efficiency are hilarious, will there be more "scientific" graphs and illustrations featured?

YES. SO MUCH YES. I collected data from nearly 300 strippers and I am gonna graph, diagram, and chart and the fuck outta that information. 

What was the biggest accelerant in lighting the flame to create Striptastic? 

When people ordered their copies of The Beaver Show, a lot of people emailed me and were like, "oh, I thought this was a book of illustrations..." which was wildly frustrating, because I poured everything I had into writing it. Drawing was just a random thing that I fell into because of an instagram hashtag. But careers develop in strange ways, so I just took it as a sign and thought, "well, I'd better give the people what they want."

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In a world of "Instagram famous" artists and newfangled ways to read books, what made you choose to print a coffee table book over an app or a pay site? 

Because I want these stories on people's coffee tables. Strippers need to be humanized, so what better way than to learn about us than from the comfort of your living room?

Have you been inspired by DIY book people?  If so, who?

Erika Moen has published her web comic, Oh Joy Sex Toy and self-published them as anthologies using Kickstarter for a few years. She has been so inspiring and has also been really generous with insight and advice on how to do it ALL yourself. 

Who would make you pee your pants because they ordered the book? (Dead or alive - though I feel like I already know the answer is Anna Nicole Smith haha)

Any of my idols... Anna Nicole Smith, John Waters, Amber Rose. Amber Rose is the new reigning patron saint of strippers, so that would be so dope. I'm such a fangirl... I send everything I make (the merch, the books, the zine) to her fan mail PO Box. It would be a dream to see her sporting the Off Duty Stripper t-shirt I sent her! We all have dreams... 

What was different about writing "The Beaver Show" vs "Striptastic"?

EVERYTHING. The Beaver Show is a written memoir all about my experience coming of age as a stripper.

STRIPTASTIC! is the story of 300 strippers and not a single typed word will be in this book. It's entirely illustrated, with a handful of hand-written essays thrown in.

Have any of the customers featured in your work seen themselves in your illustrations?

 Not yet. Kind of dreading the day when they do find out. I might have to retire. When I'm at work, everything I do is for them. My illustrations are not for them. They are for us. 

Finally, where can we preorder Striptastic because we all need one immediately?!?!

You can pre-order your copy on KICKSTARTER! Or if you're not ready to buy the book itself, you can pledge as little as $1 to help make it happen! Every little bit helps! 

Chelsea Nyegaard by Jacob Wayler

words by Chelsea Nyegaard

photos by Jacob Wayler


Jacob and I met at the New York Art Book Fair in September 2015.  He told me he was working on an artist portrait series, t0 be shot exclusively in 35mm and 120 format film.  I have a really hard time saying no to real artists who don't want to shoot me with sexual overtone, especially when the work is this beautiful.  His respect for my photography and my character were apparent, and with each minute we spent together my admiration for his process increased.  The vibe was relaxed the whole time, he met me at the nail shop and we chilled in my friends Brooklyn apartment and talked about photos and life and having fun.  Jake is a lot younger than I am, but it doesn't negate his work; in fact it's just the opposite: it only amplifies my excitement in following his career.  He brought with him this new school, super chill vibe that boys didn't have when I was in my early 20s. Coupled with his obvious artistic spirit and the fact that we were in my best friend's apartment, it was easy for me to relax and even open up, which can be really difficult for me to do on camera.  I have a tendency to flaunt my tenacity and cover up the softer bits of me that are scary to share with the world.  These might be my favorite photos ever taken of me, if for no other reason than the fact that they show me the way that I see myself, and that's not typical.  Photographers shoot you how they see you, so either Jacob has a really powerful sixth sense, or we are very, very similar creatures.  

BAD SCENE 001: HOT GIRLS 2 RELEASE PARTY

Black & White 35mm event photos by: Samantha Girgenti

If you are from New Orleans, you understand the curse of the tourist.  If you visit, you may think you are at a party "where the locals hang out" but if you know the real locals, you know they are smart enough never to settle at one location for too long.  Pop up events and secret parties are the key to keeping an event full of good people and good energy.  Lax drinking laws make it so boozing on the streets is comfortable without fear of city officials shutting you down, and if you know where to go, you can avoid any run ins all together.  Chelsea Nyegaard, photographer and BAD BOOKS LTD contributor knew this when she planned her party.  Considering the classic car element of her imagery, she selected a classic car restoration garage called "The Bomb Factory" that houses a few of the vehicles featured in the zine.  

Color 35mm event photos by Chelsea Nyegaard



BAD COLLAB 003: Slumber Party Mag x Chelsea Nyegaard

Samantha Flynn is a Goddess, a powerful woman, truly divine.  Check out these beautiful images she took of Chelsea in New York and sit tight for the interview and pics of Samantha to come.

...control can stop being this really terrifying thing and instead becomes a fun element of sex and a beneficial asset for day-to-day life. If you have trust, you can get lost in the chaos of power play in bed, switch it around, get comfortable in the roles of dominance and submission to whatever degree turns you on. That may even be the essence of sexual fulfillment. To be able to hold your power but also to relinquish it to your partner is true bliss...
— Chelsea Nyegaard for Slumber Party Mag
You only have your youthful energy for a short time. Use that vibrance to build something no one can take from you.
— Chelsea Nyegaard for Slumber Party Mag