Last Friday night, my buddy Todd Bratrud and I had an art show in Kansas City, Missouri at a skateboard shop called ESCAPIST. It turned out to be one of the most fun art shows I've ever done, which is funny to me because just a few short years ago I would have passed up the show simply because it was at a skateboard shop instead of an actual art gallery.
I used to be super picky about where I'd show my art and turn down anything I thought wasn't up to the particular standard I'd totally made up in my head. I think it had something to do with the fact that I'd opened an art gallery and didn't want to deal with people who weren't taking things as seriously as I was. Something like that. Anyway, at some point in the past few years I realized that I was being elitist by not sharing my work with people who were stoked on it. Now that's not to say that I'm looking to book a solo show at The Cheesecake Factory, but I am way more open to doing stuff at skate shops these days.
Especially when their gallery space looks like this. In all honesty, the art space at ESCAPIST is nicer than most galleries I've shown in. Which either means they're killing it, or my art career never reached the heights I imagined. Either way, nice space.
ESCAPIST also has one of the nicest board walls I've seen in a while. Fully stocked top to bottom. Duuuude, it's almost like there's an art gallery on both sides of the shop.
But in all seriousness, I love looking at tons of board graphics side by side. Seems like the graphic designer is king in contemporary skateboard graphics. The illustrator… not so much. (Sucks for me.)
Sean Malto has ridden for ESCAPIST since he was a little dude, and now he's one of the most famous-est skateboarders in the whole wide world. Which is good for Sean and good for ESCAPIST, and just kind of weird for me. Weird because he came to the opening and I was sort of nervous meeting him. Which is a really bad feeling when you're a fully grown dad man and you're nervous meeting a kid because he's better at skateboard jumps than you are. It makes you think you might have made a few wrong turns on the road to mature development. Anyway, he was a very nice young man and I played it totally cool… so we're good.
Here are some photos I took while I was installing my work.
Some recent serigraphy.
Hung alongside some new drawings.
Little index card drawings that look something like this.
Or something like this.
More than anything, I was just stoked to have an excuse to hang out with my buddy Todd. I hardly ever get to hang out in the same room and converse with him. Most of our back and forth is unfortunately electronic.
Todd's drawings are so awesome.
They're kind of all over the place, which I think shows his strength as an illustrator.
Some are super tight/super detailed and some are super simple. But all of them are really clean and very obviously Todd's.
If you care, research the dude. You won't be bummed. Unless you're just one of those people who are always bummed. In which case, bummer. (For you.)
OK, jump forward to the opening. I set up a little merch table and hung out all night watching skate videos with the kids.
The future of stoke.
Roger that. The only thing wrong with this photo is that you can see my shoe in the bottom right corner. Amateur moves.
While I was hanging out at my print table feeling like a weirdo, three different dudes cruised up and showed me tattoos they'd gotten of my work. The dude who tattooed this one (in a basement) is now in prison.
You kind of gotta be in the know to know what this tattoo is about.
It was this guy's birthday, so I gave him a free print of the image that he had tattooed on himself. I felt like it was the least I could do for the permanent ego stroke.
To summarize: The art show was terrific, the dudes at ESCAPIST were awesome, and Sean Malto doesn't think I'm a kook… until he reads this blog (which probably won't happen).
No movie review this week because I didn't have time to watch a movie. But next week I'll make up for it by reviewing something really awesome like Harold and Maude or Krull.
Previously - Crazy Hot Turds