On Friday I headed over to Shoreditch, East London with my good friend and photographer Jordan Green to check out the launch of Broken Fingaz Crew’s latest lovechild, SEX PICNIC—a zine & supporting exhibition masterminded by BFC’s Tant & Unga.
To set the scene, it was an absurdly hot 31°C in the capital and the launch party was being held at the fairly intimate MEN Gallery on Redchurch St. Just in case the sweat wasn’t real enough already, local hardcore band Idle Hands had been booked to play a set in the gallery’s back room as part of the event. As dope an idea as that was, I can neither confirm nor deny that everyone in attendance made it out alive.
SEX PICNIC is Tant & Unga’s visualisation of two main themes: Sex and death. In typical BFC fashion, this is expressed through psychedelic prints of women getting jiggy with skeletons, half-human/half-turtles getting it on with each other, and everyone generally having a sweet time down by the lake.
Stylistically, the artwork on display throughout SEX PICNIC is bulletproof. Another welcome addition to Broken Fingaz’ back-catalogue of radical creations. It gives me serious emoji heart-eyes.
I managed to catch up with Unga of Broken Fingaz for a quick interview, which was easier said than done considering BFC keep their identities anonymous and there were a couple hundred people in attendance, both inside the gallery and taking refuge in the cooler street outside. Thanks again to Charlotte of NO WAY for making the introduction. You rule.
TOM: Man, it’s so damn hot today. I’m actually melting. Apologies for the sweaty handshake back there.
UNGA: It’s funny, this is like a Spring day for us back home in Israel. You’re a pussy.
I really am. Hopefully these beers rehydrate me though. Anyway, wanna introduce yourself?
We’re gypsies from Haifa. I’m Unga.
And we’re all here for the launch of your new zine, SEX PICNIC. What’s the concept behind it?
Pretty much the way it sounds, it’s a Sex Picnic and everyone’s invited.
What’s it influenced by?
It started with death and sex. So there’s a lot of skeleton sex, a picnic with skeletons and ladies having an orgy, but then somehow a lot of turtles get in the picture, so in the second half of the zine there’s a lot of turtles.
I like turtles. That makes sense though, it’s a natural progression. So, why did you choose London to launch the zine?
We printed it here and I was here the last few months, so it just made sense. Also, we like the city. We’ve done quite a lot of stuff outside [graffiti pieces] but we haven’t done anything like an exhibition here for a while.
What do you like about London as a city the most? Is it the art, the food, the women?
I love the food! I dunno, I like that fact that it’s a big, busy city and everyone here’s is doing something, which is quite different to where we come from. When I’m here it makes me want to create more.
It makes you feel inspired? I feel that. I’m originally from the South-West of England. We have a pretty strong street art scene in Bristol. Have you ever visited the city?
Yeah, I’ve been to Bristol. I really like it down there.
Have you visited anywhere else in the UK that has inspired you?
I was in Brighton recently, which was cool. I also went to Manchester once... that was pretty frightening. I went to a festival and had a really bad trip. Everyone turned into zombies. There were all these gym dudes with their jaws hanging off, which was pretty confusing. But apart from that, only good experiences.
That definitely sounds like Manchester. Getting back to your work, I’ve read that you guys are inspired a lot by comic book art and skate graphics. As I designer myself, I draw a lot of inspiration from those places too. Have you ever considered releasing a Broken Fingaz comic book?
Yeah! We talk about that all the time. The thing with comic books is that you need to sit down and write the story and we haven’t found the time to do that yet. Hopefully we will one day though.
Rad. That’s awesome to know. I’m looking forward to it already. Finally, what do you guys have planned next?
Next, we’re going back to Israel for the SEX PICNIC launch in Haifa, which will probably be a lot different to this. We’ll probably stay there for a bit in the warzone [laughs] trying to survive, you know. After that, there’s nothing really planned. Just to keep travelling and paint. That’s the goal.
Surviving is a pretty good plan.
Well, that’s it man, thanks for the chat. Short but sweet. That’s actually the first interview I’ve ever done. It wasn’t too bad, was it?
Really? It was shit. Nah, [laughs] congrats!
The SEX PICNIC exhibition runs until the end of July at the Maurice Einhardt Neu Gallery (30A Redchurch St, Shoreditch, London). Open daily from 12-8pm.