I’m psyched to have been included in Marcus Waldron’s book, On the Grind. Here’s my interview below:
What got you into skateboarding?
I started skating with my best friend when I was a 10 year old, his older brother had friends who skated and I think that’s what started it. The first time I stepped on a skateboard, I figured I would ride down my little driveway hill, stepped on the board and just flipped backward, straight onto my back, knocked the wind out of me, couldn’t breath for like literally 60 seconds, and from then on I was hooked.
Has skateboarding led you to any other interests?
I think skating got me into most of the stuff I like, art, punk music, became a vegetarian, no drinking, that sort of thing, all from reading interviews with people whose skating I looked up to.
How does skateboarding affect your creative work or life in general?
Right now I have a normal job at an art gallery in Old City, I have to wear nice clothes and look the part, so sometimes being a skateboarder underneath it all makes me feel like I am leading a double life. Literally the minute I get home I take off my work clothes and put on ripped dickies, blown out shoes and a dirty t-shirt.
Do you take a lot of non skate photos?
Yes I definitely do, that’s really what I’m interested in, but I try to think separately of the skating and the non-skating stuff, I don’t have skate photos on my website…hope this doesn’t offend anyone but I don’t think of skate photography as art…you don’t use one art form to describe another, if that makes sense, that’s how I see it.
I heard your work has been exhibited internationally? Can you tell me about that?
Right after I graduated from school I took a train trip through Europe with my girlfriend, 25 cities in 60 days. While in Germany I put on a show at my friend Sergej’s gallery, Basementizid, just north of Stuttgart. Sergej and I had met at FDR years back and stayed in touch, exchanged zines, etc, and he invited me to put on a show to open up his new space. More recently I was invited to have a framed piece in the Print Exchange Program show in London, with my work hanging alongside the likes of Tobin Yelland and Ed Templeton, whose photos have inspired me from the beginning.
What is “borderline retarded”? Why do you do it?
BORDERLINE RETARDED is my yearly photo zine that I self publish and distribute every 4th of July at FDR. I started the zine after I broke my foot at Skatopia in early June, and figured I had some time to kill and could get the zine done for the big party at FDR. I had just gotten ahold of some old issues of Michael Sieben’s zine, “Programmed from India”, which is still probably the funniest zine I’ve ever read. Having a deadline like that has been good for me; I have put out 7 issues so far and I’m really happy with what I’ve been doing. The zines are 20 pages long, full color photocopies, and I do a numbered run of 100 every issue.
What was the coolest trip you ever went on because of skateboarding?
Every trip seems like the best one, there is something cumulative there for sure, and they kind of all bleed together in my memory. I think the feeling of being away is what I search for, those moments when you forget having to pay bills and hold down a job, when you can just really experience wherever you’re at and the people you’re with, kind of outside society in a way, that’s where I’m aiming to go.
What are your thoughts on post production? Does a heavily processed photo deserve less respect?
In art I really have no use for it, none of my artwork is edited at all, and I am a purist when it comes to the craft of photography. None of the photographers I look up to are using that kind of imagery, and it’s just not something I am interested in aesthetically.
For skate photography I definitely use photoshop to my advantage, at least in terms of dodging and burning to move your eye around the frame. Digital looks pretty terrible right out of the camera so you to have to fuss with it to make it your own.
Do you know anyone who’s been really changed by skating?
I’ve heard a lot of people say that if it wasn’t for skateboarding, they’d be dead.
25 Oct 2012 / 11 notes