A new rose-tinted exhibition by editor Luis Venegas brings together artists such as Nan Goldin, Bruce Weber and Juergen Teller, for a look at the “undeniable queer history” of the colour pink.
Luis Venegas is a one-man publishing powerhouse intent on keep the power of print alive and kicking. Through his work at Fanzine137, EY! Magateen, The Printed Dog and C☆NDY, his magazines stick out in the bustling indie magazine market; intent on talking on the things they mostly ignore. From the transgender community to a unique look at young male adulthood, his unique eye is one to trust.
With four publications to run, he is busy enough, but he's now taken to curating an entire art exhibition. Called PINK, and created in association with the fashion industry's favourite boutique Colette, the exhibition brings together some of the "big names" that have often contributed to his magazines - think Bruce Weber, Inez and Vinoodh, Ellen Von Unwerth and Juergen Teller - with more up-and-coming names like stylist Ibrahim Kamara and photographers Dexter Lander and Pierre Ange Carlotti, to explore the many facets of the colour pink.
"My magazines have often been identified as queer," Luis says. "And even if that hasn't been intentional, I like it. Colours have no gender per se, but the use we've often made of them does. Pink has an undeniable queer history and I thought it'd be fun to transform Colette's regular blue logo into pink and also go forward and "dip" Colette with artworks created under many shades of pink. Pink has a sweet, soft quality but it can also be controversial. I've always loved the duality of it."
The exhibition, on until March 18th will also be the basis of the next issue of Fanzine137, out next month which will feature a catalogue of all the artworks shown as well as many not featured, so as Luis says, "everyone who wishes to see this PINK takeover somehow will able to enjoy the experience."
We asked the lovely Luis to make a selection from the exhibition and explain some of the origins of the art works….
"I knew about Eric's fabulous world of fantasy artworks via Instagram a couple of years ago and I immediately got seduced by his vision. It was playful, sexy, naïve, colourful and magical. He and his dog Scout were featured in the second issue of my magazine The Printed Dog. For this exhibition, he's created this huge painting on canvas that mixes many techniques, with a few pink mushrooms sculpted on the top that look like crazy hallucinogen marshmallows. Very Alice in Wonderland, I'd say!"
Leo Rydell Jost
"Leo is my favourite Spanish artist. In 2014, we worked together on his first book, a collection of his homoerotic drawings - making the whole editing and design of the book in an afternoon; when you're working with great material the process is really quick. The book was called Coloured Dudes and the 100 copies we made sold out in less than 48 hours. For the exhibition, Leo translated some of those artworks into his sexy, flamboyant rugs that can lay on the floor or be hung in walls. The one exhibited at Colette was made specially for the PINK show and in my opinion, is a truly fabulous and dreamy piece."
"I grew up fascinated by Bruce Weber's work, deeply influenced by his vision of beauty, health and happiness. He was in the 11th issue of my magazine, Fanzine137 in 2009 and contributed to the first issue of C☆NDY in 2009 when some other artists were a bit cautious about being involved in a magazine featuring all kind of transversal manifestations. He also shot the first entire issue of my EY! Boy Collection. Bruce is a living legend and has always has been incredibly generous to me and supporting my work. For the exhibition he shared this funny image of model Clarke with a pink bathrobe."
Thomas McCarthy and June Kim
"Thomas contributed to the ninth issue of C☆NDY 'by accident' in 2015 when another photographer cancelled last minute for an important story. Thank God, as I soon became a big fan! Since then, I always try and think of ideas for him when I am creating my projects. For this specific show, he's teamed-up with artist June Kim to create this highly seductive image starring this gorgeous dog called Niko and a cute furry butt."
Grand Perrio Bebé Xiao Diamond White Cotton Ka'Iulani Vewins
"Mostly known by his shorter name, Perri White, Perrio is a French bulldog that has been raised in a creative environment. Perrio started working on his sculpture pieces at a young age. His works normally take several years of making due to the slow process of biting and chewing. This sculpture was his first toy and now has become a work of art thanks to the help of product designer Alexis Rydell Jost. I very much liked the idea of an artwork made by a dog sharing the same space with legendary artists like Nan Goldin, Juergen Teller and Bruce Weber etc."
"After some trying many times in the past, last year I finally had Nan Goldin's work in my magazine, C☆NDY last issue. I've always loved her photography and now after that experience, I also love Nan herself! So I asked her to be part of this exhibition and to my surprise, she immediately agreed. I mean, Nan's work is exhibited at the greatest museums and galleries in the world, so I'm truly grateful she accepted my invitation. It's the biggest artwork in this exhibition, featuring not only one, but a collage of nine photographs, all of them 'very Nan Goldin'."
Text Lynette Nylander