Mad Love, Ep 20: SEXPO

When Mad Love was first conceived, I never thought I’d be eating hazelnut espresso flavoured lubricant on top of creamy soft serve ice cream on camera for everyone to see. But here we are.

The sticky dessert was just one of the unique opportunities afforded to me at this year’s Sexpo, Australia’s longest and largest (unintentional innuendo) adult exhibition. Founded in Melbourne almost two decades ago, Sexpo’s initial intention was to bring what was in adult shops to the trade floor.

(THIS EP CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE EASILY OFFENDED, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!)

Fast-forward to the present, Sexpo now encompasses a plethora of adult and pop culture interests.  Walk around long enough and you’ll see anything and everything you might have concocted in your imagination: international stars like Jenna Haze and Lisa Ann signing fleshlights, carnival games where you throw dildos at bullseyes, an artist called Pricasso (you read that right) painting spontaneous masterpieces with his “paintbrush”, and even the Dolorean from Back to the Future was on full display.

In every way, Sexpo was much more than the collection of adult oddities that I was expecting, although there was a ride named the “Shafter”. For one, the show had a theme: Feel the Future.  This concept was highlighted by the promo image of a woman about to lock lips with a porcelain skinned cyborg. A combination of several VR booths, sex toys that looked like Google Home devices, and a state of the art sex robot named “Harmony”, made traditionally taboo ideas about sex and sexuality seem increasingly archaic.

Whatever preconceived notions of Sexpo you might have, throw ‘em out the window. I can guarantee that the enthusiasm, warmth, and general curiosities, will surprise and win you over. At the very least, you can get a scoop of ice cream, lube optional.

Shout-outs to Sexpo and everyone who took part over the full 4 days, your enthusiasm to be on camera and be talkative was greatly appreciated! Also shout-outs to my brother, Michael, who co-hosted this episode with me. For someone who has never done stuff like this before, he did a really good job. He ate the lube-y ice cream too, like a true soldier!

And on a side note, BIGS UP to lifewithoutandy for hosting Mad Love for 20 episodes. Even though it’s an arbitrary number, doing these 20 times means a lot. We’ve been able to get away with doing a whole bunch of crazy and niche stuff (except when Chris pretended to be Shepard Fairey. That didn’t make the cut, for very understandable reasons), so we’re very grateful. Speaking of Chris, BIGS UP to him for being the steady and focused hands behind the camera. I know that it’s usually my big bald head you see in front of the camera but there would be no Mad Love without ya boi shooting and helping shoot and produce every single of these things.

So, for all the fans out there, thanks for watching, reading and hopefully enjoying. If you get anything from this feature it would be to go enjoy some art and culture. Whether in Sydney or not, truss me on dis!!

Expect more in tha FUTURE!!! MAD LOVE!!! BAOOO!!!

Mad Love, Ep 19: We’re Big In Japan!

My first memories of Japan have nothing to do with fine sushi, expensive sake, criterion collection samurai films, or cherry blossoms falling on a beautiful spring morning. Nope, instead it was being huddled around the fluorescent glow of the TV on a Saturday night anywhere between 9 and 12pm.

the channel was SBS.

This was the now influential slot for late night anime. Back to back they used to play Neon Genesis Evangelion, Bubble Gum Crisis Tokyo 2040, Cowboy Bebop and numerous others. What they had in common (besides gratuitous bouncing cleavage) was they were violent, sophisticated, comedic, colourful, and most importantly cot damn rad. As a kid watching this for the first time, it was mind blowing. 

Fast forward 15 years and now Japan’s imagery and cultural identity are common place. People eat sushi every day, read manga, and will generally see a Dragon Ball z inspired meme on their feed every few posts. A combination of the residual influence from the eighties and kids (who are now adults) being more welcome to different types of media has led to a general acceptance of what was once niche and unique.

This is no different in the world of art, which has always drawn inspiration from Japan. Look at any of your favourite artist’s body of work and they will definitely have a few geishas, samurais, rising suns, and huge anime eyes in there. It is then surprising to think that the actual street/ lowbrow artist coming from Japan often go under the radar. In the world of Instagram and social media, the following of these artist are frequently insular to Japanese natives and enthusiastic fans.

So we put it upon ourselves at MAD LOVE to find out what Japanese artist think about street art, their own work, and how the world sees them! We also went to Tokyo to eat, booze and stuff ourselves on to the notoriously tight subways, ALL FOR THA FANS!

Special thanks and shouts to the Japan Foundation and all the artist works featured in the episode. BAO!!!

Mad Love, Ep. 18: Sydney Institution Goodspace Gallery Turns 3 Years Old

Cotdamn, three years goes by quick.

When Goodspace first opened its doors, not a lot of people knew what to expect. The premise was deceptively simple: Every Wednesday, for one night only, there would be a new exhibition. That was it. Whether a well-established artist or an up-and-coming young gun, every show was carefully curated by the eagle-eyed vision of the unofficial mayor of Chippendale, Chris Loutfy.

With now well over a 100 shows under its belt, Goodspace has become one of Sydney’s premiere galleries, hosting an eclectic variety of local (and occasional international) talents. Over the years, the notorious white walls of the double rooms have been transformed into hundreds of different spaces. From a zine fair, a smoked out video installation, an electronic rave and even the bedroom of the next big thing in Sydney rap, Phil Fresh, who took us into his world for his EP launch.

Goodspace has taken on so many different identities that it’s impossible to pinpoint what it’s going to be next week, or the week after. For a city that can have the reputation of being unsupportive of the arts, it just goes to show that Sydney is indeed a hotbed for creative talent – it just needs a few more galleries like Goodspace.

So bigs up to Chris Loutfy, and everyone who has exhibited or helped out in the last three years, you’re all the real stars

 

Mad Love, Ep. 17: Hot Import Nights Finally Lands In Australia

The year is 2001.

We had all just survived Y2K, Sydney had held arguably the best Olympics of all time (arguable amongst Olympic geeks?), and Jennifer Lopez had about 157 songs on the radio. But most importantly, we were introduced to hardened LA race vet Dominic Toretto and baby blued-eyed Brian O’Connor; we were given cinematic gems like “You never had me, you never had your car!” and “I live my life a quarter mile at a time”.

Yes, we were blessed with The Fast and the Furious, a film so impactful to hot-headed young boys and girls that its influence would revibrate for the next two decades. Launching sequels on sequels, stacking billions on billions, and causing an epidemic of souped up cars.

I’ll be the first to admit I know nothing about cars, let alone customising cars and the lifestyle that it entails. But as you can tell, I do know a lot about The Fast and the Furious and the bajillion sequels that came after it. Compared to anything else I’ve ever experienced, Hot Import Nights felt like the living, breathing embodiment of one of my favourite films.

Holding the title as the longest-running automotive lifestyle event currently exhibited around the world, Hot Import Nights is a celebration of some of the most impressive cars that you will ever see in person and the people who live and breathe them. Originating in the US, they finally set their sights on Australia and held their first event in Sydney earlier this month.

Cars worth more than a down payment on a house, guys with Japanese tattoos, and women who look like they stepped right out the centrefold of a magazine, were all to be expected. What I didn’t expect was the overall friendly and enthusiastic vibe of the whole event. The organisers had clearly gone above and beyond to try and give the thousands of aficionados an experience that they would never forget, and hopefully come back for again and again.

So, it was an honour and a pleasure to be a part of the inaugural Sydney event. Shout out to the organisers, all the car owners, the venders (especially the computer guys who had Counter Strike on deck), all the women who competed to be the first ever HIN Australia, Timothy Delaghetto for wearing tight jeans, and all you people who bought a ticket and took part in day! BAO:

Mad Love, Ep. 16: Sid Tapia

Sid Tapia is a living embodiment of Sydney’s counter-cultures.

He’s had a long and storied career that spans the rise of hip-hop and graffiti in the 80s, the boom of skating in the 90s, to currently being a full-time artist, made all the more impressive by representing Crown St, Surry Hills the whole damn time.

Renowned for his borderline photo realistic style mixed with his colourful and bombastic graff pieces, Sid’s work can be seen everywhere and anywhere. With the steady increase in attention and momentum, he was recently chosen as the sole Australian artist at the adidas Showcase/Juxtapoz Clubhouse in Miami, bringing a bit of that Sydney style to the leather-skinned goers of South Beach!

So shout outs to Sid, Sydney Legend and all around insightful/inspirational guy! Bao: