Saturday, December 10, 2011

Decks: Skateboard Exhibit at The Bricks

The Bricks, interior view.
Skateboard art has been around for some time. There are guys who are known as "skateboard artists". The Bricks has long-standing ties to the boards, with its ties to Skatepark, in Tampa. If you notice, there's also a skateboarding store that is adjacent to The Bricks as well. This show has ties for the place, its culture and many of its customers, some of which grew up going from one establishment to the other.

The "deck" format is long, almost like a Chinese scroll, with is peculiar rounded ends. Curiously, most of the work shown was in the vertical format. In my experience, this is the convention for this type of work, though as we will see, some artists work horizontally. Pale Horse, a St Pete artist who has worked on skateboards extensively, does a lot of horizontals.

Kristopher Fillon, "Danny"

A portrait of someone who looks familiar, but I can't ID. The man is canonized by his halo. Note the sepia...and lack of other color in the figure. Formally, this is mostly composed along the centerline of the space. Only at the bottom does it play with asymmetry, and then only slightly.

Tiffany Minsall "Chickpea Eating Monster"

In "Chickpea Eating Monster", Tiffany Minsall breaks out of the deck by using it as the corpus of the Monster, and adding head, limbs and tail. Looking more like a religious, somewhat devilish figure (big horns!) but cute and leaning in the direction of crafted dolls being incorporated into art. The effect is intense and silly --- simultaneously.

Chris Pastras, "All Faces on Deck"

Again, fitting into the vertical, in this case, a totem of faces, five in all, highly stylized, and looking curiously similar in some ways to the grotesque humanoid faces in Eskimo totems. The gesture of the red face is the strong point of this painting.

Michelle Sawyer, "Dear Mama, What's Beef?"

Michelle Sawyer foils the formal convention by using a broken board (there were many that were glued together) in two pieces to make two insightful portraits of deceased rappers. The jagged edges of the break are a good metaphor for the abrupt ending of their lives' trajectories.

Jason Ault, "Game Face"

Jason Ault's "Game Face" uses the space horizontally here to include faces from popular gaming characters.

RJ RRunes, "Lost and Found"

RJ Runes' "Lost and Found" ventures into 3D sculptural territory, breaking out of the surface of the deck. A figure of an old man, looking unhappy and perhaps bitter. In his chest there's what could be an atrophied heart bound with wire.

Dan Lasata, "Growth"

Dan Lasata is known as a 'skateboard artist'. In "Growth", there's a stark tree with only a few leaves growing out of a teary-eyed man's head. In  sub-frame, it says "every man's tree grows differently". Note how relaxed Dan works in the space, at ease with asymmetry. I spoke with Dan at the opening of his show at Kahwa Cafe S. in St Pete last weekend. It's a show that will soon be reviewed in AT.

Mike Goodwine, "Recycled Miss Nature"

This was one of the more radical re-interpretations of the space of the format. Mike Goodwine's "Recycled Miss Nature" a cut-out from a board in an arboreal form.

Two happy show goers at the exhibit.

Congratulations to all participating artists and The Bricks for an unusual show.

--- Luis

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