From skateboard graphics to fine art, Colorado-based Evan Hecox's work is immediately recognizable. Since beginning working with Chocolate Skateboards in 1997, Hecox's visual style has become synonymous Chocolate. Hecox created the distinctive Chocolate logo and his lifelike representations of seemingly mundane objects from cars to bikes to food trucks, rider portraits and everyday urban scenes are Chocolate graphic staples.
Hecox's latest work with Chocolate, the nine-board Vagabond Series with graphics created for team riders Kenny Anderson, Mark Johnson, Gino Iannucci, Raven Tershy, Vincent Alvarez, Chico Brenes, Justin Eldridge, Elijah Berle, and Stevie Perez, is available now. You can find the Chocolate Evan Hecox Vagabond Series including boards, a t-shirt series and wheels at your local skate shop and the Crail Store soon.
Evan gave us a little background on his Chocolate work and fascination with vehicles:
That first Chocolate car series was done from photos I took of cars that I would see on the street. I used to live in the Mission District in San Francisco and I would walk or ride my bike around and take Polaroid photos of things that interested me. I’ve always had a fascination with old cars, especially ones that anyone has customized slightly or ones that are damaged, primer painted, multi-colored, or with old faded logos.
That first series sort of initiated an ongoing theme in Chocolate graphics after that, of just making graphics that are very straight-forward representations. I think that way of working was somewhat inspired by Ed Ruscha who made a number of photo books cataloging mundane things, such as Twenty Six Gasoline Stations, Nine Swimming Pools or Some Los Angeles Apartments. Those always had a strong appeal to me.
What do you enjoy about creating these pieces of art out of everyday vehicles?
Old cars and other vehicles just have a certain character and personality about them. I used to have a 1965 Ford Falcon station wagon and I always regret selling it. Maybe I’m overly nostalgic about old cars, but somehow they just have a great look about them.
They really represent a more carefree period of time in America. The cars just have so much detail and flair that has nothing to do with function. It fascinates me how that was the mindset of car designers and consumers then. They age better than new cars I think, they get even more character over time which makes them fun to draw. The worse a car looks the more fun it is to draw.
How did you approach the Vagabond series?
Certain riders have interests that tie in easily to a particular subject matter, so I try to pick up on that whenever possible. Kenny restores old Mercedes so it’s obvious for his board to be a Mercedes. Elijah has an old red pickup truck. Most of them are not that directly related, so I just try to use my intuition to match the subject matter to the person, but it’s not that precise. There isn’t any real symbolism in most cases.