Linda Forsell is a freelance photographer and journalist based in New York and Stockholm, though she’s been hopping from place to place so much recently it’s hard to say she’s “based” anywhere. From October 2010 to January 2012 she traveled to ten different countries, documenting violence against women in Brazil, Pakistan, Sweden, the US, Congo, and many other places. The photos of hers that we’re featuring this issue come from her previous project, Life’s a Blast, the result of two years’ worth of trips to Israel and Palestine to document the conflict there in startlingly original and subtle ways. The book version is still unavailable outside Sweden, which is why we’re extra-thrilled to bring these images to you.
Ryan Knighton is the author of the memoirs Cockeyed and C’mon Papa, and his scribblings have appeared in Esquire, the New York Times, the Believer, and many other publications. Recently, Disney animated his mind’s eye for a live stage version of This American Life—or they told him they animated it, anyway; since he’s blind he’ll never be sure. Ryan writes movies as well, and even more weirdly for a screenwriter, he lives in Vancouver, not LA. He has never seen his tattoos or his daughter’s face and frequently travels to hazardous locales all by his lonesome, but for his story in this issue he asked his archaeologist brother to come along with him to the largest rattlesnake roundup in the world.
See THE TWITCH
Punk surrealist Winston Smith has been hand-crafting provocative collage art since the 1970s, when he started appropriating insipid icons in magazine ads from the 40s and 50s to create absurd, sometimes politically charged images. His album covers, inserts, and flyers for the Dead Kennedys in the early 80s inspired a lot of people who hated authority and the government to make art, and his “DK” logo has been carved on school desks, spray-painted on bathroom walls, and tattooed on bodies all over the world. In the years since, he’s continued to glue shit to other shit to make awesome shit, and his art adorns covers of albums for George Carlin, Burning Brides, Ben Harper, Green Day (pre-makeup), and a bunch of other folks.
See THE TWITCH
When we asked Christoph what inspired him to write a story about a German mental hospital’s monthly disco night, he told us, “Crazy people are always fascinating,” which is like saying farts are stinky. Christoph’s worked as a freelance journalist for the past dozen years, traveling the world and writing for places like Stern, Der Spiegel, Playboy, and GQ, but attending the Looney Disco was a weird story, even for him. “The most shocking experience was when the lady tried to bite my genitals. Thank God I was wearing pants. I am happy that I was there, but I will never go back again.” We don’t really know what he’s talking about, because his piece makes it seem a lot more fun than any club we’ve ever been to.
Hailing from Oklahoma, one of Angie’s first jobs was recording books on tape for the blind under the supervision of a boss who exclusively wore those button-down shirts with Tabasco bottles all over them. A short while later, she packed up her meager belongings in a bindle and hightailed it out of the Dust Bowl to pursue a career in art and graphic design in New York City. Not long after that she started interning at VICE, then became a designer, then a senior designer, and for her latest feat she nailed the fuck out of the ridiculously intricate photo-illustration work for this issue’s cover and corresponding fashion spread by Maggie Lee and Sandy Kim. It was inspired by those purikura-sticker booths so beloved by Japanese tweens.
See PRETTY KOOL-A