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A recent study conducted by me has found that 90 percent of skateboard graphics in suck. Over the course of my 11 years as a skateshop owner I have watched in horror as the imagery on the bottom of skateboards deteriorated from works of art worthy of gallery walls into something like midterm projects from a graphic design class at a community college. In the 90s the skateboard was used as a canvas for artistic expression.
Sadly, the current generation of skaters have been brainwashed into paying top dollar to act as moving billboards for corporations. This was not always the case. In the 80s and 90s the imagery and pros' names drove board sales. Standing in front of a skateshop's board wall during that time was blinding and overwhelming—like your first visit to the Louvre.
As the 80s came to a close skateboarding took on a more urban, street-focused look. Powell Peralta, with their biker-style skulls, swords, and dragon images fell from prominence and World Industries rose to power with its edgy, satirical commentary, thanks in no small part to masterful designers Marc McKee and Sean Cliver. Suddenly skateboard graphics were no longer for little kids.
They were naughty and dirty and laden with blatant sexual, political, racial drawings that disgusted parents, making skateboarders want them all the more. Sebastien Carayol, a French writer from Narbonne has spent the better part of his life immortalizing the 90s era of skateboarding in various books, museum exhibitions, and his Memory Screened column and website. Carayoladmits he's not much of an artist himself, which is why he chose to document that side of skate culture.
The critical, ahem, acclaim that followed persuaded me to stop my artistic career right then and become a writer instead. Carayol recently released a book of subversive skateboard graphics called Agents Provocateurs Gingko Press. I sat down with him to discuss the heyday of skateboard design. What prompted you to make Agents Provocateurs? Sebastien Carayol: In I had the opportunity to curate a board exhibition as part of the " Public Domaine " art show in Paris.
In order to avoid just displaying boards in chronological order, I decided to pick the theme "provocation"—boards that had something to say and addressed classic taboos such as sex, religion, violence, racism, politics, etc. It fed both my admiration for the greatness of the 90s—the time during which I started skating—and also the history of provocation in general. I showed 52 boards at "Public Domaine" and thought it'd be cool to turn it into a book.
I worked on the book itself for about a year, juggling it with other shows and projects. At the end of the day, the publisher told me these were some of the gnarliest images he had ever put in a book. It made me all warm and fuzzy inside. How difficult was it to confine yourself to only subversive skate graphics? That was the hardest part of the book, because for all I know we could've picked 1, graphics and it still might not have been comprehensive. I also tried to find as many modern decks in that genre as I could, but it's not very easy.
All that in mind, I am very happy with the final selection, and just can't wait to get upset emails from people saying, "Why didn't you include this board or that board? Which graphic has the best story behind it? An excerpt from the Thrasher ad that promoted it read: Beginning in the s they were taken from their homes, shackled, piled into ships, and then transported to America.
Over the next three centuries they were bought, sold, enslaved, tortured, raped, and killed. Then, in , they were allowed to drink from the same water fountains and that pretty much took the fun out of everything. Something of that era," Turner said. My first board was called 'Jovontae at Night. My mom and I brought Marc McKee all these postcards of what they called black folklore, which were really bad cartoons representing black people.
I liked it when it came out. I liked the controversy. It just makes people trip off it. I like to fuck with people, and it actually worked. What's your take on the modern era of logo-driven, boring skateboard graphics? You mean the ones that make skateboards look like skis? I just think it's a shame that this cheap trick still works. It's crazy to me that some of the top-selling companies happen to be the ones with the lamest graphics: Kids don't care. The decks you chose from the pre-internet 90s were shocking at the time, but do you think teenagers today, having grown up on the internet with its shocking images of beheadings and fistings and whatnot, will be shocked by anything in this book?
Do you think there's anything shocking for teens in ? I think about this every now and then, but it's very difficult for a year-old who grew up in rural France, pre-internet age, to know what will shock a teenager today. Which is fine with me—I'm not sure a modern day teenager would go as far as buying a book, right? There's Street League to watch! Far more interesting. I really do believe that the only great taboo left within skateboarding is homosexuality. Despite a few people having finally come out in the past couple years, it's still this thing that nobody dares to address, and it's a shame.
I would love to see an openly gay skateboard company celebrating its difference—it would be amazing, and actually help kids to be more open-minded. Marc McKee and Sean Cliver were at the forefront of dastardly skate graphics in the 90s. Who do you feel is doing it best in ? I think Sean still does it. Marc McKee, too, and a few other vets such as Todd Francis never disappoint. Among the relative newcomers, I really like the works of Ben Horton for Slave, and the occasional scandalous genius burst from, say, SkateMental or enjoi.
Oh, and the whole turmoil around the "Gooks of Hazzard" deck by Baker in TMZ story , et al got my old fart's soul all teary-eyed—kids still manage to do it today! It's a miracle that provocation still works, right when you thought people had seen it all. What are some of the best stories the artists told you in the course of making this book? Besides the classic tales that were already heard here and there non-racist skinheads protecting the Real team at a demo after Jim Thiebaud's "hanging Klansman" board came out, etc , I like how Mike Hill did this old Alien board, the one with a puppet being stabbed, just out of wanting to make a graphic "that looked like what Dinosaur Jr.
Other great insights came from Eli Gesner, the mastermind behind early Zoo York stuff, who did Illuminati skateboards in the 90s as well. For each board, he sent me three-page long email explanations in which I found out things like this little-known fact about the death of Illuminati Skateboards that I was unable to fit into the book:. Oyola and all of us at Zoo decided it would be best to create our first 'spin-off' brand for Ricky, Illuminati.
In retrospect I might have gone conceptually overboard with Illuminati. I'd like to hope not. It actually deeply saddens me that at one time, skaters would respond to such intelligent ideas as the things we used to do with Illuminati, and in the end 'Jackass' and 'Rob and Big's Fun Factory' won out True irony! In the end, we were hit with a 'cease and desist' order from the crappy, nerd-a-rific playing card game 'Illuminati'.
Turns out that 'games and sporting goods' exist in the same copyright and trademark sector in the United States. Imagine that. To this day I still get 'Why did you guys kill Illuminati? It was rad! We were forced out by the card game. Or were we? I suspect that there was a deeper, darker conspiracy at work! I think not! What's your personal favorite skateboard graphic? It's too hard for me to choose just one that was actually sold in shops—I love them all.
So I'll go for the one-off that Alyasha Moore did in , which he sold at auction. He took an old, beat up s skateboard with metal wheels and simply wrote "Colored Only" on the bottom—a way to acknowledge that the oh-so-cool 50s weren't just Happy Days. Simple, hard-hitting, tells a story in one word. Sorry if it's a bit serious I do love naked retired people playing volleyball as much as the next guy but to me that's the key with provocation—tell a smart story in one smart idea.
Lastly, we are discussing artists who have shaped the visual landscape of skateboarding for decades. Their work has inspired many to become artists, skaters, or both. Yeah and then you get to wonder how much the designer for a logo on a vacuum cleaner gets paid, right? I think it's pretty unfair, but it also says a lot about rushed graphics—when you see that Sean Cliver spends like a week, minimum, on a handmade graphic, do the math and think about what kind of hourly rate that amounts to I am not sure how to reverse that, all I know is that I'd love for this kind of book, or Cliver's, or any skateboard design book, to help at least put names to the graphics that deserve to be seen more than their three weeks' shelf life in a skateshop.
It won't get these guys paid better, but at least it'll make them more visible Buy Agents Provocateurs. More stupid can be found at Chrisnieratko. Sign up for the best of VICE, delivered to your inbox daily. Meet the Nieratkos. That wasn't always the case, as Sebastien Carayol's new book, 'Agents Provocateurs,' proves. Newsletters are the new newsletters.
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Play in new window Download. Android RSS. You likely have a pile of broken skateboards if you love skateboarding. The good news is that many artists creatively reuse skateboards to make awesome stuff. And if you are into woodworking, this episode might inspire you to source your material from the skate park.
A recent study conducted by me has found that 90 percent of skateboard graphics in suck. Over the course of my 11 years as a skateshop owner I have watched in horror as the imagery on the bottom of skateboards deteriorated from works of art worthy of gallery walls into something like midterm projects from a graphic design class at a community college. In the 90s the skateboard was used as a canvas for artistic expression. Sadly, the current generation of skaters have been brainwashed into paying top dollar to act as moving billboards for corporations. This was not always the case. In the 80s and 90s the imagery and pros' names drove board sales. Standing in front of a skateshop's board wall during that time was blinding and overwhelming—like your first visit to the Louvre. As the 80s came to a close skateboarding took on a more urban, street-focused look. Powell Peralta, with their biker-style skulls, swords, and dragon images fell from prominence and World Industries rose to power with its edgy, satirical commentary, thanks in no small part to masterful designers Marc McKee and Sean Cliver. Suddenly skateboard graphics were no longer for little kids.
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Jeremy Klein born July 12, , in Torrance , California is an American artist and former professional skateboarder. Klein rose to prominence as one of the original riders for Steve Rocco's World Industries company. He then switched to Birdhouse Skateboards , founded and owned by Tony Hawk. After being one of the first professionals on Birdhouse, Klein retired from the company in
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Anyone remember the Skateboard brand Hook-Ups?
Discussion in ' The Vestibule ' started by dynamitekenji , Jun 26, Big Story Pokemon: Detective Pikachu Review. Does Avengers: Endgame Have a Post-Credits Scene?
As skateboarding progressed to mimic surfing, skateboards evolved with the style of riding. Skateboards grew and changed shapes as riders experimented with everything from plastic to fiberglass to aluminum constructions - all in an effort to push what was possible. Like most sports or art forms, progression is at the heart of skateboard innovation. Independent Trucks has been designing trucks since NHS, Inc. Since the day skateboarding went from something surfers did when the waves were flat to its own sport that involves technique, practice, and careful consideration, a small handful companies have been there to help skateboarding become what it is today.
Hook-Ups was founded by professional skateboarder Jeremy Klein in Originally a t-shirt brand, they eventually expanded into skateboard gear and accessories. Hook-Ups may be best known for their graphics of Japanese animation female characters. They can be found on anything the company designs. As the name suggests, Hook-Ups designs their products for mature riders. Purchasing products from this brand will ensure you turn heads! Constructed of 7 ply maple, Hook-Ups skateboard decks are durable and long-lasting.
Growing up, Jeremy Klein was one of my favorite skateboarders because it seemed like he was into all the stuff that I was: Are you talking about the one time we were on tour where Tony smoked and Berra got bummed? At the time Birdhouse made these hats, with my name and Birdhouse Projects embroidered on them in this cursive font. In the Hook-ups video, Destroying America how did you get away with knocking down all these trees with your van? We realized after making The End it was easy to just go and drive over stuff. I actually go a little slower than him, he just goes full blast. We did all the stunts except for when the van is exploding and stuff like that.Hook-Ups - Asian Goddess (1994)