Brain Floss: Shepard Fairey

Could skateboarding’s ubiquity ultimately be what might deter future generations, as it becomes the norm?  

Skating requires too much risk, creativity, and dedication for the system to render it impotent. It evolves quickly, so the innovators will always be ahead of “the norm.”

Skateboarding owes no one anything, as skateboarders we owe it everything. What would your letter to skateboarding sound like?

Dear Skateboarding, Thank you for saving my life! I mean that metaphorically, not literally. I was a frustrated jock kid who didn’t love organized sports or the social hierarchy. I liked drawing, so I didn’t fit in a typical social group. Skateboarding gave me an unstructured outlet for my aggression that fostered creative independent thinking. There were no rules.

How rewarding and exciting is it to do the portrait cover of Gonz?

This cover is a big deal for me. Mark Gonzales has always been one of my favorites in his skateboarding and art. Mark’s style and creativity as a street skater have shaped our modern idea of street skating. I met Mark in ’92 in NYC and he traded me one of his drawings for a couple of my Andre tees. I felt like the luckiest person ever. He attended one of my art shows in NY about a year ago and I reflected on how kind he was in ’92 when I needed validation. Thanks Mark.