Skate deconstruct: inspired by intuition
This project has been guided mainly by good vibes and coincidences. There is no real good reason why and how I ended up working on this topic. Throughout the process I have tried to be open to small, quiet signals and follow them. For me as an artist this is about doing what I want to do and not be thinking about what I should or should not do. As a personal project this has been an exercise to truly feel and be led by intuition.
What made a documentary photo project and skateboarding an interesting challenge for me was the fact that I would have much less control than what I’m used to. I mainly work in a studio environment, creating life in a controlled and lifeless environment. However, for sometime I had desired for change: I needed to let go of my conventions, lose control and document real life. When I met Gabriel I knew I had found my inspiration.
Prior to the trip I made a deliberate decision not to educate myself about skateboarding. I wanted to try a method of going into the project without any prior knowledge of the topic. I could observe skate culture without really knowing much about it only once. Now, afterwards I have been studying: reading books and studies, watching movies and following social media.
It all started In the summer of 2015 when I was travelling in California and Mexico. Back then I knew nothing about skateboarding, didn’t feel any connection to the culture. When I was in Mexico City, my friend Denisse kept on insisting we should go and visit a close by skatepark in San Cosme. I wasn’t really interested in going there, and as a photographer I knew that skate photography is a form of art in itself, something I felt distant from.
On the last day, almost the last hour before leaving to the airport we happened to walk by the skate park. Denisse finally persuaded me and this time I had no excuse to bail out. The skate park looked a bit scary, under a highway bridge in the middle of a busy intersection.
Gabriel came to talk to me. He was cool, I got some shots and we kept in touch. I got inspired. In January I was back in Mexico City to work on a long term documentary photography story about grass root skateboarding.
For Gabriel skateboarding is much about freedom. Documenting skateboarding has freed me as an artist. I had to let go of control and step outside my comfort zone, forget the conventions I had adopted and see the world differently. I freed myself from my own expectations and took the ride.
Skate Deconstruct Photoshow
Every Thing Changes Art Gallery, 2009 Main St, Santa Monica
9/18-11/11/2016, Mon-Fri: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sat-Sun: 12 p.m.-3 p.m.
To make an appointment call Leslie Heinze 310-795-9160