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Edition 1 of Garage magazine edited by Dasha Zhukova launched on September 5th. The magazine focuses on art and fashion and is perhaps the most talked about art publication of the last decade. A highly personal tattoo by Damien Hirst graces the front cover which created a predictable coo and got the magazine banned from WHSmith.
Having Zhukova at the helm adds some serious clout. Zhkova founded The Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture in Moscow, which has become a prominent venue for modern and contemporary art, housed in one of Russia's architectural masterpieces, the former Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage.
Launched perfectly in time for NY Fashion Week, The NY Times describes the debut issue as "one of the most intriguing magazines to come along in years, it is not entirely clear whether this is a fashion magazine that takes more than a passing interest in art, or an art magazine that knows its stuff about fashion."
It is the 'Inked' project photographed by Hedi Silame and found on pages 100 - 127 that is central to the first edition and has got people talking, and rightly so. Some of the worlds most respected artists, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Jake and Dinos Chapman, John Baldressi, Richard Prince, Raymond Pettibon, Dr Lakra and an ecletic mix of established artists all worked to one brief - design a tattoo for Garage - a unique piece of art that will be on a person's skin for life.
None other than renowned London tattoo artist Mo Coppoletta was invited to tattoo the now infamous butterfly design by Damien Hirst on model Shuana Taylor, who had this to say about the experience;
'I would have been stupid not to be part of this project. I have a piece of art on my vagina. Not one single person can ever say they gave birth through a Damien Hirst piece of art. I can [if I ever give birth].'
Finding other willing canvases to sport the other 9 designs was then key to the project. Eight candidates were selected which included a car salesman, art historian and model, all drawn to the project for his or her own reasons. The 9th canvas was Dinos Chapman. The Chapman brothers changed the brief to suit themselves with Dinos giving up his own arm to his design rather than granting it to an external canvas. A pointed hand etching with the words "I'm with this idiot" sits on his right bicep.
Reading the brothers interview in the magazine however it materialises that the design was actually for Jake and meant to say 'Im this idiot' but Jake decided he didn't want it once the duo hit the White Cube Gallery for the session. Dinos design was tattooed on his arm accordingly but he wasn't going to let Jake get away without feeling the needle. Dinos took the opportunity to pick up Mo's needle himself and started to tattoo Jake, free-styling a design as he went with no idea what the outcome would be and without any previous tattooing experience. Jake was submissive, suffering from a monster hangover created at Jamie Hince's stag do the night before. After producing a solid line rather than the initial series of dots made out of the fear of hurting his brother Dinos started to enjoy the process. The result was a design thankfully liked by Jake and a subsequent desire to get tattoo licenses and convert an ice cream van into a tattoo parlour for a tattooing tour of the UK.
Has the idea of artist designed tattoos kicked off? Well if this idea comes to fruition be warned, Jake and Dinos get to decide where their design goes.
So after nine months of designing, casting, inking, photographing and filming the project to launch this first iconic edition, an interesting question has been raised. What are the tattoos worth? Sketches for the tattoos used by the tattoo artists in London, Los Angeles and New York are now considered works of art; some are now the property of the Gagosian Gallery and may be exhibited at the Frieze Art Fair in London.
If resulting coo caused by the launch issue is anything to go by I'm looking forward to seeing what Garage will come up with next. If you haven't already got a copy i urge you to get one. There are 3 front copies. Damien Hirst's with a peel-able butterfly covering just the right places with instructions to 'Peel slowly and see'. How very Velvet Underground. Dinos Chapman and renowned photographer Nick Knight created the second featuring a puppet doll of model Lily Donaldson looking inside a dolls house and Richard Prince's sketch of his cartoon smiling face.