Despite it being *cough* a few years since I’ve hung out in skater circles, I decided to take Brian from Bigfoot Bike and Skate up on his challenge for this year’s Bay View Gallery Night. He had some brand new retro 80s style maple skate decks made for the event and asked local artists to decorate them (to be sold to be used as functional boards) in their best 80’s graphic style. Since it wasn’t initially specified that he meant NINETEEN 80’s style…Brian agreed that sure…he’d also accept EIGHTEEN 80’s style, thus opening up the possibility for steampunkery and the like.
As for me, I couldn’t decide whether to create a homage to late 19th century imagery or late 20th century, so I made a bit of a mashup of both esthetics…
Back in the day, every skatepunk I knew covered their deck with dozens of stickers (of bands…gear and wear…ads…random graphics…beer labels…hazard signs peeled off of other things…et al), often topped off or layered with stenciled spray paint. Considering my fascination with Victorian mourning practices, I decided to apply this concept to the morbid trends of the 1880s. Hence…we have images of funeral cards, mortuary logos, ads for mourning wear, sheet music for popular funeral tunes, and the like, cleaned up digitally before being hand aged and collaged onto the board. As a further nod to 1980’s skate culture, I cut a skull image to stencil over the clippings.
Dropped off the board this afternoon and it seemed to go over well. Again, having been out of skate culture for quite a while, I let Brian at Bigfoot set the price for me ($125). It'll be on display at the shop for BVGN this coming Friday.