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Sean Cliver
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Public Domaine : Skateboard Culture - Teaser from La Gaîté Lyrique on Vimeo. In two weeks I'll be heading in a northeasterly direction to Paris, France for the opening of the Public Domaine exhibition at the la Gaité lyrique on Saturday, June 18. A considerable step above and beyond your average SKART show, this is a multi-themed approach to portraying the broader cultural aspects of skateboarding from its music and graphics to film, photography, fashion, futurism and more. Some of those represented in the varied facets of the sprawling show include: Neck Face, Yogi Proctor, Adam Wallacavage, Donny Miller, Deanna... Continue reading
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Hmm, what was it now... two years? three years? Well, whenever it was is when the "Full Deck: A Short History of Skate Art" exhibition was first put together by the Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, California. Since then it has hit the road nationally and is currently on display at the Rockford Art Museum in Rockford, Illinois—yes, the very same Rockford synonymous with the Rotation Station. On that note, it's stupid, silly remembrance time! In 1988, while I was living, thriving and surviving as a skateboarder in Madison, Wisconsin, I managed to... Continue reading
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Finally! And by finally I mean finally a post that's not about me me me! It is, rather, about Marc Mckee, an artist that needs no introduction in these here bloggy parts. Lest you be confused that this is an extended stop of the former "Censorship is Weak as Fuck" show, rest assured it's not. First of all, Marc has a new book coming out and it features not only his commonly known skateboard art but his lesser seen illustrations from the smutty pages of Hustler Magazine! Anyway, the what and where particulars are all up there, so far be... Continue reading
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Okay, I swear I did not intend for this to become a "vanity site" of any sort, but until I do otherwise I guess it is what it is. (Trust me, I would be happy to promote any other companies/artists recent works/products, but to date I've only ever received one or two press-related releases: Alien Workshop and The High 5.) So on with me, me, me! Last year, I was contacted by Element art director and Top 10 board artist of the 2000s, Todd Francis, about doing another commemorative graphic for Ray Barbee. It was to be a surprise for... Continue reading
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This is a sorry excuse for a new post after so long, but so it goes in life and passionate pursuits in the name of free. Anyhow, way, or whatever, Marc McKee and I recently did some new work for Cliché in the spirit of the old—screen-printed, no less! Each board is available in two different shapes, but both are limited in run. Find 'em now or forever hold and roll in peace. For further furtherings into the world of Cliché Skate: http://www.clicheskate.com/ Continue reading
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Call me a creative stick in the mud, but I've always been a big fan of graphic continuity. Not only does it make for a nice wall display many years later (okay, that's in extreme hindsight), but it primarily gives the pro rider a sense of place in skateboarding's geo-graphical landscape. For example, would Steve Caballero be what he is today without his staunch dragon lineage of the '80s? Or how about Tony Hawk without his forever screaming chicken skulls over two decades later? What if Jim Phillips had opted to render a pastoral Midwestern barnyard scene for Rob Roskopp's... Continue reading
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Okay, as promised, here is the first installment of three to feature the amazing, somewhat Hitchcockian, and oddly prophetic "swirl" on Mark "Gator" Rogowski's first few Vision pro models. Prior to joining the Vision team he had two models on G&S—the first of which is largely unknown and much more rare than the original Jeff Phillips model on G&S—but for all visual intents and purposes the '80s didn't begin in skateboarding until this particular graphic started optically popping up on the walls of skate shops in 1984. This is, of course, subject to personal interpretations, but to each his own... Continue reading
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Want to stick your fist into a beehive? It's easy. Just head on over to any Interweb-based skate forum and bring up Mark "Gator" Rogowski's name. No surprise, really, what with Gator's story being one of the most sensational, disturbing, shocking, and sad in the history of skateboarding, after he plead guilty to the murder of Jessica Bergsten in 1991 and became a fixture within the U.S. penitentiary system (all the lurid details of which can be found in the documentary Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator). Prior to this tragic incident, however, Gator had been one of the... Continue reading
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I know, lately it would appear I've been more focused on the present than the past, but as any therapist will tell you that's exactly what you're supposed to be doing in life. And, frankly, I just haven't had a lot of spare time to fart around and wax on and off about the nostalgic. But in the interest of celebrating diversity in time and getting back to the roots of this site, here's a look back at one of those graphics that caught my eye in the skate shop while I was desperately selling off my old comic collection... Continue reading
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Yeah, yeah, I've become a real Mr. Current Events guy lately. I swear I'll get back to the past soon, but for now, if you're in the vicinity of Los Angeles and have fond recollections of sound snippets from the Powell-Peralta Public Domain, Ban This and Propaganda videos, then perhaps you'd be interested in checking out a night with the man behind that music: Chuck Treece, aka McRad. He'll be performing live at Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood on Thursday, June 10th, at 7:00pm. Need a youthful energy shot to jar your memory? Here you go: Continue reading
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Art appreciation is certainly in the Southern California air this summer, as the works of Neil Blender, Grant Brittain and Dave Swift are being hung and slung on this coming Saturday night, June 5th, from 6:00pm–12:00am at Hensley's Flying Elephant Pub. To forgo any further redundancies similar to those I made with the earlier post for Ron Cameron's upcoming exhibition Dismantled Hope on June 11, please take a gander at the Press Release flier above for further details on what will surely be an event studded with skate luminaries from throughout the ages. Continue reading
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From the moment I first became familiar with the work of Todd Bratrud, I was nothing short of envious. Not only did he show remarkable versatility and skill in what he was capable of doing—from graphic design to illustration—but he had ideas. Lots of them. The provocative kind that make you laugh and recall years later, much like the graphic output of World Industries, Blind and 101 circa 1989–1994. Although Todd had been involved with the industry since 1998 (and I guess I even met him once prior to that during a Big Brother road trip to Minneapolis, MN, in... Continue reading
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Unfortunately (yet very fortunately) I'm still buried beneath a glut of paying work, allowing me little to no time to dick off for fun with historical ruminations. But seeing as longtime skateboarder/artist Ron Cameron helped me out a good bit on my first book it's only right and natural to pay him back in kind. So, if you're in the area of Encinitas, California, on Friday, June 11, 2010, and can forgive me this run amok use and possible abuse of the comma, check out the opening of his solo art exhibition Dismantled Hope at the Encinitas Library Community Room.... Continue reading
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Last November I'd teased the forthcoming Ray Barbee "tribute" board from Element, but it would now appear to be officially out, about, and available for purchase. (Actually, I think it has been out for over a month or so now, but ol' Slow Hand Luke here just got around to posting the formal news.) What I didn't know back then though, is that they still planned on releasing two shapes for the board—one popsicle, the other early '90s-ish*—covering both "OG" color scheme bases in the process. Element even produced a sticker, too, for those of you predisposed to sticking and/or... Continue reading
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First, if anything, I should offer up a modest mea culpa of sorts. Not that I feel it's necessary, I'm just doing this to span time and decorate the Interweb with something other than pornographic imagery, but my original intent really was to be a bit more active with this Disposable extension (after all, I am currently paying for the online trailer park space). However, back in February, my car was broken into and some cocksucker of a thief made off with my MacBook Pro laptop and camera gear. Aside from the fact I was uninsured and had to swallow... Continue reading
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Mar 16, 2010
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This past November I ran into Marty Jimenez at the preview opening of the Skateboard: Evolution & Art in California exhibition in Santa Monica, CA. Now unfortunately for Marty, he knows that every single time I run into him I'm going to ask if he's unearthed his board collection yet. It was, after all, one of the few I never managed to document despite badgering him to no end over the course of putting both Disposable books together. He has a reason—a very good one at that—for not letting me have a photographic crack at his archives, and even though... Continue reading
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Back when I first started this online extension of the Disposable books one of my goals was to begin covering and promoting new skateboard graphics as well as wax off all nostalgic about the old. I sent out a "press release" (if you can even call it that ... it was more like an annoying mass email to a selection of contacts in my address book) to announce this altruistic intent of mine—okay, and to maybe net a few freebies along the way—but few responses came back aside from the usual English quip or two from Don Brown at Sole... Continue reading
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In 2002 I was contacted by Aaron Meza to whip out a space-filler article for Skateboarder about the Top 12 board graphics that I wish I'd created. Included on that list were the following: G&S Neil Blender Coffee Break, Zorlac John Gibson Cow Skull (the Pushead version), 101 Natas Kaupas Devil Worship, Santa Cruz Jeff Grosso Toy Box, Blind Guy Mariano Accidental Gun Death, Powell-Peralta Steve Caballero OG Dragon, Blind Jason Lee American Icons, Powell-Peralta Mike McGill Skull & Snake, 101 Gabriel Rodriguez Jesus H. Christ, Santa Cruz Rob Roskopp I, Blind Danny Way Nuke Baby, and the very first... Continue reading
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In Tony Hawk's book Occupation: Skateboarder he mentions that when his very first pro model was released in 1982 it wasn't exactly a top seller. Hell, if anything, it was a bottom dweller. To add insult to injury the market for skateboards back then was nonexistent at best, so to not have a remotely popular model translated to mere pennies on the royalty dollar—more precisely, 85 cents, the whopping sum total of which Tony claimed to represent one of his earliest royalty check payments as a paid professional skateboarder. An authentic batch of Powell-Peralta Tony Hawk models, including the first... Continue reading
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Never fails. In the months to follow the publication of Disposable: A History of Skateboard Art there were a number of decks that I'd failed to find after years of searching that suddenly surfaced out of the dusty blue. Fortunately, I was able to go back and make a few of these key additions with subsequent reprints, but this time around with The Disposable Skateboard Bible there will be no such editorial shenanigans (well, aside from the one previously noted here). Of course, I say this somewhat ruefully now, because a few days ago I received an email from John... Continue reading
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When I started skating in 1986, Dogtown was still in its transitional phase right before Wes Humpston really started doing any serious work for them again (an artist by the name of Michael Sieff was doing most all of the board art right then). I was naturally drawn to graphics of a more illustrated slant, so my immediate influences came from the likes of V. Courtlandt Johnson, Pushead, and Jim Phillips. Well, I was also just a dorky little kid hopping up curbs in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and didn’t think I had the balls required to own a Dogtown board*—a... Continue reading
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This has been stated so many times before that I don't even know how to say it any other way now, but my primary impetus for beginning work on what would eventually become The Disposable Skateboard Bible was to tie up a few loose ends that I wasn't able to find or include in the first book—several of which were only made possible in the years following its publication. For this reason perhaps that's why I dragged my feet for two and a half years to compile material for the Bible, because just when I was about to theoretically call... Continue reading
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Ever since Gingko Press formally picked up the publishing rights to Disposable: A History of Skateboard Art in 2007, I'd been periodically hounding them to release it in hardback form. Concrete Wave Editions/Blitz Distribution did a limited hardback edition of 1000 copies in 2005, but those sold out pretty quick and in the years to follow I continued to receive requests for it. Gingko was reluctant to do this at first (which I found somewhat funny since they'd gone back and re-released Fucked Up + Photocopied in hardback), but I finally managed to twist their arm enough to where they... Continue reading
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Some may accuse me of harboring a bias toward the old Powell-Peralta boards and, to be perfectly honest, they'd be entirely right in doing so. However, my appreciation for the graphics of other companies that were not only screened on boards but imprinted upon the collective consciousness of the '80s skateboard generation is no less diminished. So many graphics from this era had a far slower turn around than the quarterly spin cycle of present time designs that they often lingered in production for well over a year or more, thus allowing for repeated and routine appearances on the shop... Continue reading