Skateboards as Art

Nick Grant/August 05, 2013

A longwinded debate that has gone on for years; people treating skateboards as genuine pieces of art. Instead of Warhols or Pollocks on one’s wall, they choose 8″ x 32″ pieces of wood. Mass produced pieces of wood, at that. Pieces of wood that are actually supposed to be used, scratched, broken and tossed. But they are definitely more than that.

 

Marilyn Minter’s Supreme deck collection.

Marilyn Minter’s Supreme deck collection.

I’m one of those guys that has always wanted to start a wall of my most coveted skateboard decks in my mancave (whenever I am allowed to have one, of course) because of the significance those decks have had on the culture I’m so infatuated with. I have never been able to skate. It’s pretty tough for a 6’3, 200lb guy to really get his bearings on a board. But the culture is one I can attribute to getting me into clothing and style in the first place. Especially Supreme NYC, which are one of the catalysts to turning skatedecks into art, commissioning some of the world’s best talent to put their works of art on their decks. Hell, some of their decks are sold in galleries for  upwards of 3,000, which is pure insanity. To most. To me, it’s a treasured piece of art to hang on the wall and marvel at. And why the hell can’t I? Because you feel like I’m devaluing the purpose of them, Mr. Skateboarder Man? Eye of the beholder, I guess.

 

Henry Leutwyler “Ballet” skate decks

Henry Leutwyler “Ballet” skate decks

 

Vashtie Kola’s full “Last Supper” Supreme deck collection.

Vashtie Kola’s full “Last Supper” Supreme deck collection.

I hope to have the opportunity to add some of these, what I consider, works of art to my collection someday. Not only to stay connected to a culture I consider a main driver of my youth, but to remind me that you can find anything beautiful if you look hard enough and have a deep appreciation for it. Even 8″ x 32″ pieces of wood.

 

George Peterson’s “Lingo” series, turning recycled wood from skateboards in carved, painted masterpieces.

George Peterson’s “Lingo” series, turning recycled wood from skateboards in carved, painted masterpieces.

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