Skateboarders have long lived outside of the box. They may be seen as athletes by today’s standards, but for most, skateboarding is more than that. It is a lifestyle. And nothing represents that lifestyle more visibly than the board you ride and the graphics applied to it.
Last Friday’s opening of Rolling A(u)ction at SPECTRE Arts in Durham reflected that spirit to a tee.
There’s plenty of killer art, as they say, at the Rolling A(u)ction. Some pay tribute to the recently fallen. Jon Horne’s deck is a homage to Gwar’s frontman Oderus Urungus, while Alicia Lange’s Scrabble board gave a shout-out to legendary Z Boy and Dogtowner Jay Adams, who passed away just days before the opening.
While most stuck to traditional means of painting on the bottom of the board, several embraced the spirit by deviating from the two-dimensional sphere. Marty Markel’s contribution appears to be a spin-off of the legendary Jackalope.
Andreas Trolf whittled his board down to the inimitable middle finger, which skaters have used to counter the authorities that hassle them. Skateboarding is not a crime, people.
Dwayne Dixon’s piece reflects the rebellion of skate life but also poses as social commentary of Durham with a Polaroid of the Liberty Warehouse sign juxtaposed with a mousetrap holding the skeletal remains and the simple phrase, “Come into my life.”
August 29th will be a live auction and the day to score your board. I’d buy them all if I could. But that wouldn’t be fair to the rest of you.
The proceeds from the auction of the handcrafted, one-of-a-kind skateboard decks will go to the Pittsboro Skatepark fund.
Skateboarding is like family. Way before corporate sponsorships, it was a lifestyle born out of word-of-mouth, fueled by attitude and camaraderie. It has supported itself for decades and will long do so with or without X Games, Red Bull or Nike sponsorships. Grassroots it is and grassroots it shall always be.