Art & Skateboarding: The Synergy
There's a clear synergy between art and skateboarding, maybe clearer to some than others, but it's ever prevalent. From graffiti, board art, and clothing to skate films, photography, games, and music, visual art isn't just connected with skateboarding; it's embedded into the fabric of the culture.
All that we could ask for is an opportunity to express ourselves and our ideas; it's the reason many of us got into skating in the first place. Visual art is a way for skaters to lay claim to their own little part of their city or town, where they are free to create and express, and we see that in all spots we visit.
There's no doubt about the skateboarding cultural influence, and It's thought that the freedom of expression and creativity cultivated by skating is particularly alluring to visual artists.
We've got some examples of the synergy between art and skateboarding in the form of visual art; check out the articles down below.
Skateboarding & Visual Art
There are also some great examples of artists using skateboarding as a topic or subject for their visual art. Still, few are more impactful than Dan Colen's exhibition at Gagosian Gallery's 555 West 24th venue in New York. In the build-up to the show, Colen installed a large ramp and encouraged local skaters to come and try it out. Colen later had the ramp turned over to create a 'bridge' sculpture and invited viewers to walk beneath it and notice the marks and scratches left by the skating locals in the hopes that it would be suggestive of the visual elements of skateboarding that initially inspired his own inner artist.
The piece was thought to pay homage to his late friend Dash Snow whom he had become friends with via their shared love of skating.
Photography is another hugely popular form of visual art that's ubiquitous in any skate culture around the globe. Some exceptionally talented and creative skate photographers have been around for years, helping to pave the way and exhibit the true artistic beauty of skateboarding.
Hugh Holland is one name that springs to mind, true skateboarding photography royalty. His famous photo book 'California Skateboarding 1975-1978' is a must-see.
Another visual artist making waves with his affinity for skateboarding photography is Atiba Jefferson. Jefferson has impressively branched out and worked with some incredible brands such as Thrasher, Moon, Oakley, and Slam, but his roots lie in skating photography.
Pro Skater Turned Fine Artist
Fine art is seen by many as the highest standard of artistic expression, which would explain why those that have aptitude for the fine arts often make such exciting skaters. A 'fine' example of this (pun intended!) is former professional skater turned fine artist Toshikazu Nozaka. Nozaka turned pro at 18 but subsequently found the pro skating game more stressful than he had anticipated and decided to pursue separate endeavors. He now runs a successful skate brand - Asian Wave Skates and has his tattoo shop where he tattoos his original designs - Asian Wave Tattoo.
The synergy is clear now, and it'll only continue to become clearer as both art and skateboarding continue to gain popularity in our modern world.
Speed on over to the DOSE store to get your hands on some shirts and hoodies.