Madame Bam Bam, Sinbad, and the magician
First I came across Madame Bam Bam was her act as part of The Syndicate at The Butterfly Club in September 2013. The flyer promised “Danger, sex, magic and pain” and it delivered exactly that.
After 8 months, I came across her again at Found Festival. It was a fantastic festival celebrating female artists. At that time I was looking for a person to paint for the upcoming Archibald portrait prize. And I thought she was the perfect person for me to do that.
So I visited her and had a little chat in general about passion, performance, pain and feminism.
We sat down with a cup of tea, and started with the question of how Bam Bam got into performing. “I wanted to celebrate (feminism) and also influence people in a different way. I prefer doing a performance rather than writing an article … Rather than telling people how the world should be, (through performance) I can be the role model in terms of how you want people to see you.”
“I see burlesque as naked clowning. It shouldn’t just be sexy, it should be funny, silly. There should be the personality.”
Putting out cigarettes and rat traps on someone’s tongue is certainly not something you’d see everyday. Not to mention Bam Bam’s famous Butt stapling act to end all horrors.
I asked about each tattoo on Bam Bam, and I’m particular interested in the lady on her left arm, a demon goddess, whose name was Lilth.
“I was having interactions with people and giving them tarot card to take away.”
Bam Bam introduced me to “Sinbad”, named after a sailor. Sinbad was obsessed with feathers and he is always hungry.
That was a lot of inspiration under just one hour. My mind was filled with ideas of this portrait and I can’t wait to start on it. If you are interested to follow the progress, please follow my Instagram or Facebook page.
Painting was shipped for Archibald Prize in 2014: