DIY The History of Creative Culture In Skateboarding

Growing up in Malibu in the 70’s and 80’s, our options for skate terrain were based on how creative you could get. Some of the first things I skated consisted of plywood leaning on a bale of hay in front of my house or cinderblocks with wood. If you were lucky you could find a parking block some place and maybe move it to a ditch or driveway for a session. Later, as we grew more, we were able to use power tools and maybe build a launch ramp or a small transition to vert that could be placed on a wall of some kind for wall rides to a harsh flat ground landing. It’s this type of creativity that was the foundation for the DIY mentality of skaters that has evolved into full on spots like Washington Street and Burnside.

I’m really stoked on the upcoming event at Subliminal Projects highlighting the creative history of the skate culture. This collection of world-renowned artists and creators will showcase exhibits from such contributors as The Skateboard Museum (Berlin), The Skateboarding Hall of Fame, and Fac,t amongst many more. There will be numerous pieces of art and artifacts spanning the DIY legacy including skateboards, clothing, magazines and artwork. Subliminal Productions founder and internationally known creator Shepard Fairey will also be unveiling a limited edition print and, that alone is enough to pique mine and many other’s interest in this awesome event.

I can’t wait to walk down memory lane and see the spirit of the skateboarding’s DIY history as well as seeing first-hand some of the latest and greatest contributions to our great skate community. Hands down, this is a do not miss opportunity, and I’m definitely excited to attend.

Words by ChrisClicksDigital

Press Release:

DIY

The History of Creative Culture in Skateboarding

EXHIBITION DATES: MAY 19 – JUNE 16

OPENING RECEPTION:  SATURDAY, MAY 19, 7-10 PM

Subliminal Projects is pleased to present DIY: The History of Creative Culture in Skateboarding, curated and created by Jürgen Blümlein of FauxAmi Exhibitions and The Skateboard Museum (Berlin), Todd Huber of Skatelab and the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, and FACT. The exhibition will feature skateboards, clothing, zines, various ephemera and artifacts integral to the legacy of DIY culture in skateboarding. In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition, Subliminal Projects founder Shepard Fairey will release a limited edition print.

“This D.I.Y. skateboarding art show is very personal for me. I began drawing when I was little, but the real turning point in my life is when I started skateboarding and listening to Punk rock in 1984. At the time there was a very punk, D.I.Y. (Do-It-Yourself) mentality in the culture of skateboarding. Skateboarding provided a physical and creative outlet for my aggression and frustration. Early on I made my first stencil. I had decided that the factory graphics on my board were too slick so I painted my board fluorescent orange and spray-painted a black Thrasher stencil on the bottom of the board. I had cut the stencil with a kitchen knife and soon I realized that I could use paper cut stencils not only for spray-painting but also for screen-printing. Basically, D.I.Y. skateboarding led me to the art techniques and “question everything” mentality that have been the foundation of my work ever since.” –Shepard Fairey

The skateboard of today is an evolution from its original makeshift creation by scrappy and inventive adolescents who took wooden boxes, or boards and attached roller skate wheels to the bottom. As the skateboard itself began to evolve into a commercial product, self-adornment of the boards was common, as kids desired to create their own identities and make their boards distinctive.

By the 1970’s, skateboard culture had developed not just as a sport, but as a creative community of subversives. Artists such as Wes Humpston and Jeff Ho hand-painted their boards, and skateboard graphics became an intrinsic part of subculture.

During the 1980’s, the industry’s popularity took a turn and the death of commercial skate parks across the country lead to the emerging scene of DIY backyard ramps and sidewalk jump-ramps, setting the platform for street skating, which dominated the scene in the 1990’s.

Skateboarding has always been associated with counter-culture and disruption, regardless of the ebbs and flows of its popularity. As a byproduct of that mindset, an ethos of anti-establishment and anti-mainstream commercialism has remained a constant; this attitude is not only expressed through the act of skateboarding itself, but in the form self-published zines, DIY clothing and brands built out of garages, design, fine art and music. DIY: The History of Creative Culture in Skateboarding is a tribute to the skaters, artists, writers, and musicians who utilized the Do-it-yourself philosophy to pave the way for a unique culture to emerge worldwide.

This exhibition was made possible by the support of Vans.

EPHEMERA AND ARTIFACT CONTRIBUTIONS BY:

Andy Howell, Andy Jenkins, Andy Takakjian, Bill Barminski, Brian Flynn, Cap10, Chad Muska, Claus Grabke, Dan Adams, Dan MacFarlane, Dave the Chimp, Dietsches O.M.S.A, Dirk Jacobs, Dirk Vogel, Duane Peters, Eric Jacobs, Flying Fortress, Fritz Klein, Garry Scott Davis, Glen E. Friedman, Gonzalo Azumendi, Grant Brittain, Harry Blitzstein, Henry Davis, Herr Schulze, Jason Adams, Jason Jessee, Jeff Ho, Jeremy Fish, Joachim YoYo Schutz, John “Parky” Parkinson, Johnny “KMNDZ” Rodriguez, Julia Gröning, Keith Haring, Lance Mountain, Marc McKee, Mark Gonzales, Matt Groening, Matthias Bauer, Mike Ernst, Natas Kaupas, Nathan Pratt, Neil Blender, Oliver Scheibler, Pasha Sorokin, Paul Sunman, Pelle, Ralf Kussowski, Ray Flores, Ron Cameron, RxCx, Sean Cliver, Sebastian Palmer, Shepard Fairey, Simon Woodstock, Skot Werner / Sacred Tee´s, Spank., Starsky, Steve Alba, Steve Caballero, Steve Olson, Steve Saiz, Stëvil Kinëvil, Tim Leighton Boyce, Todd Bratrud, Ulrich Kattenstroth, Vince Tattu, Wallride, and more.

ABOUT THE SKATEBOARD MUSEUM

FauxAmi Exhibitions was founded in 2002 as an artist association organizing and curating art shows. In 2003 the foundation was set for the SKATEBOARD MUSEUM after a temporary exhibition called SKATEBOARDFEVER, which covered skateboard culture and its history, the exhibition became permanent – the first and only Skateboard Museum in Europe. Diving deeper into the many facets of skateboard history, the SKATEBOARD MUSEUM has hosted various specially themed traveling exhibits in major metropolises around Europe, Asia, and the U.S. The museum’s organizers approach the interaction with history as a constant challenge for present and future generations.

For more information, please visit skateboardmuseum.berlin, or follow them on Instagram  ( @skateboardmuseum ).

ABOUT SKATELAB

The Skateboard Museum is and has been free and open since 1997. It is open 7 days a week and has the same hours as the Skatelab. The Museum inside SKATELAB of California is home to the SKATEBOARDING HALL OF FAME and receives over 50,000 visitors each year. Skatelab has a collection of over 5,000 vintage skateboards as well as skateboarding memorabilia. Skateboard history lives on at Skatelab and the Legends live on in The Skateboarding Hall of Fame.

For more information about Skatelab, please visit skatelab.com or follow them on Instagram ( @skatelab ).

For more information about the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, please visit skateboardinghalloffame.org, or follow them on instagram ( @skateboardinghalloffame ).

ABOUT FACT.

FACT. makes apparel expressed through skateboarding, music and art, with an emphasis on ’80s and ’90s creative subculture and DIY expression. Its purpose is to create a brand community and badge for the damaged youth of the world, where dysfunction is seen as individuality, and personal  expression as power. FACT. is the creation of Damon Way, Brandon Day and Ryan Allan.

For more information, please visit factbrand.com, or follow them on Instagram ( @factbrand ).

ABOUT SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS

Subliminal Projects is a multifunctional gallery space promoting diverse forms of art while providing a forum for contemporary dialogue. It was established by Shepard Fairey and Blaize Blouin in 1995 and played an integral part in introducing skateboarding culture and design to the art world. Now located in the historic neighborhood of Echo Park, at 1331 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026, Subliminal Projects continues to offer a platform for artistic exploration and innovation. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 12 to 6 pm.

For more information, please visit subliminalprojects.com, or follow us on instagram (@subliminalprojects ).

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