☆ Manko & Jason Atomic ☆
This impeccably turned-out couple met at Torture Garden. “I made the first move,” proudly claims Manko. They’d both been in a failed marriage and their love-at-first-sight encounter seems to have done wonders for their life. An ad in i-D magazine originally decided Jason to move to London. It said “Are you hip enough for the FF list?”. Little did he know that it only publicised Frizzby Fox’s Thursday club at the Hippodrome. She was Peter Stringfellows’ then-partner.
Getting bullied on London’s streets for wearing mascara and being strip-searched by the Old Bill was still better, he felt, than living in Oxfordshire. Kashpoint is the first club in which the pair made an impact. “I just loved the way they stamped my wrist at the door with FFF (Free For Freaks),” reminisces Manko. They could also be seen patronizing hotspots the likes of NagNagNag, Anti-Social, Naked Zoo and Circus.
Jason is rarely seen without a sketchbook in hand, as he likes nothing better than sketch people who excite him. That led him to exhibit his paintings and sketches and to curate shows/live art events in London, Tokyo, Berlin and NYC. Besides collaborating with fashion houses like Charles of London and Milk Boy, he also notably set a world land-speed record for portraiture at London’s National Portrait Gallery.
Atomic has since launched his own multi-media art project, Satanic Mojo, which combines comics, film, photography, music and live performance.
As for Manko, while still figuring out what is this thing called life, she’s making art objects, clothes and films and uses self-portraiture of her naked body in political activism. Her contribution to the Free Pussy Riot campaign took her from underground modelling sites like ishotmyself.com to French Elle magazine features. She also kick started a new career in July 2019 as a curator, hitting the jackpot with Arrows of Desire, at The Horse Hospital, an ambitious exhibition gathering 30 artists exploring a Saint Sebastian theme.
The ex-hedonistic East European runaway of 2000 now fuels her passion as a, ahem, “politically sprog-free, fag-hagging, atheistic, sexually-liberated ex-pat of Catholic upbringing”. Bonkers as it may seem, it undoubtedly proves effective.
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