These days, you can hardly round a city block without coming across wheat-pasted, stenciled and sticker-bombed walls. With artists like Shepard Fairey and Banksy getting plenty of attention for their street art, there is an “artist” you’ve likely encountered but for whom fame remains elusive…until now. Brooklyn designer Grotesk is calling out the original kings of NY sticker art as the folks behind the “stuck gate” stickers. The yellow and black rectangular notices are adhered to metal gates and offer help to shopkeepers with malfunctioning gates. They are a part of the New York City landscape, and Grotesk collected them over several years of walking around the five buroughs. Empire Gates and crew will finally achieve a small dose of glory when on September 15th, 5BORO Skateboards will release this tribute skateboard and t-shirt.
Imagine my surprise when I was getting recently reacquainted with my stomping grounds in Jardins in Sao Paulo and came across the new Volcom store "” the brand’s first Latin American flagship "” sitting a little awkwardly among its Rodeo Drive-chic neighbors, like the pierced-lipped and mohawked son standing next to his straighter, square siblings in a family portrait. Rebel-skate image intact though, it’s still a different version of Volcom than the one I know from growing up living on the border of Los Angeles and Orange counties; you can tell right away from the heavy black design on the outside it’s Volcom, and inside, the music still blares and some art decorates the walls, but I’ll admit it’s not as entirely the same as shopping at Volcom in L.A., where visually there’s a lot of attitude. But I’m thinking it has to do with my pairing of Volcom with a land where skate and surf spots are within spitting distance, as opposed to at least an hour and a half or more away by car depending on the traffic (read: usually bad) when you finally get out of Sao Paulo’s concrete jungle. I love the back area, a mini-gallery with work by graffiti artists, with an outdoor (read: party) open-air space that will be a delicious chill area come high summer. Check out the photos; the store’s located at Alameda Lorena, 1835.
When it comes to customized and limited-edition skateboards, Mekanism runs the block. We’ve seen some amazing deck-collaborations with the likes of Katharina Grosse, Zevs, John Maeda, and others. In their latest effort, Mekanism joined forces with the elusive Invader. This time Invader created three original decks, each covered by a mosaic made of real tiles, signed, titled and dated. The Matrix Deck (left) is classic, reminiscent of the space invader mosaics plastered by the artist around dozens of cities worldwide. The second deck, Above the city (middle) is made up of black and white micro-tiles. Finally, last but not least, my favorite deck in the series is the Rubik Deck (right), is composed of tiles taken from rubik’s cubes (details on far right). Check out more detailed shots and info on Mekanism’s website. Also, check out a great ‘making of’ shot after the jump– look at all those poor rubik’s cubes!
Finland has long been associated with great minimalist design, but they’re just as well known for graphic prints and patterns too. It comes as no surprise than that Finnish design house Tunto is combining the best of these two seemingly disparate worlds in their collection of goods. With the recent barrage of customized, limited edition skateboard decks and a very limited amount of wall space, the Skede chair has become the solution to our problems. The chair makes great use of a skateboard deck to form both the backrest and supporting leg for the tripod setup and because the deck is removable you can customize it as your taste changes. The chair is created out of brushed stainless steel and is available with or without a leather covering and an optional Finnish Control deck. Put all your old decks to use with the refreshingly simple design from Tunto!
Aloha Rag just received literally 15 different styles of the the limited edition Vans Marc Jacob Editions. These aren’t new styles, but they’ve been fairly hard to find– and weren’t previously available online anywhere I knew of. Well I’m partial too the slip ons, the Skate High’s are pretty damn nostalgic too. These are the Cross Word Slip on LX’s, which sold out way too fast (you have to love the pink sole). There are still a handful of other slip on styles for sale at a reasonable $85. Spring time is upon us, get ready! Well you’re at it check out Aloha Rag– they have a pretty sick online store, great collection.
After receiving a pair of Freeline Skates a few months ago I was pretty much convinced they were impossible to master–like some wacky new invention I’d never quite understand. That is, until the videos started appearing around the web of what people were actually doing with them. Freeline Skaters across the country are pushing the boundaries of human propulsion and guts, among other things. Check out the latest video of what riders in San Diego are pulling off– this is truly the next level and my jaw had officially dropped–and I can hardly stand on mine yet. You have to watch this. You can order them now but there is a waitlist until the middle of April for delivery.
The Glade just introduced a few new skateboards by Mekanism, the brand responsible for some fairly impressive skateboard to artist collaborations. This deck is designed by London-based design duo Warren Du Preez and Nick Thorton Jones. They describe this is as “a black and white mutating disruptive pattern creating an optical illusion of depth and three-dimensionality.” They also have an older design I love by John Madea, a digital animator and professor at MIT’s Media Lab.