Alternate title: Game gear
Since I now see how I was kinda riding off frozen in carbonite’s recent Nunez posting last time around, I suppose I’ll keep the (ahem) ball rolling and quasi-bite Bloggy Omega’s Joey Pepper item in a certain kind of way, insofar as recognizing the dude’s apparent role as a sometime graphic design assistant when it came to those last glorious days of Aesthetics.
It was some time ago that I stumbled on the Tunney page, I think during the course of a fruitless Google Image Search for Kevin Taylor Aesthetics ads – specifically this bombastic backside 180 nosegrind on one of those Temple rails (I think?) where he’s letting it all hang out in typical KT fashion; one of those skaters who pretty much never ever produces a bad photo. I might try and argue that Kevin Taylor photos as often as not turn out better than the footage, but it would depend on the day, how I was feeling at the time, what was for lunch, etc.
One thing or another prompted me to save the link and not long afterward, in a classic “plate of shrimp” moment, my Mozilla ran aground at the Handheld Games Museum, where a couple other series of Aesthetics graphics are archived (Gamer, pictured overhead, and Arcade). All of which got me thinking back on the, er, artistically beautiful and/or pleasing appearance of Aesthetics graphics, ads, Rob Welsh’s switch 360 flips and so on.
Now many pixels have been sacrificed to the ongoing eulogization of skateboard graphics’ import, relevance and general quality, all of which are agreed to have slipped since [insert golden age here], thanks to such usual suspects as the heat-transfer process, series boards, kids these days, and that ever-present creative bugbear, corporate influence. Which may or may not be true, although great graphics still are being produced here and there.
I think though the generally sweet quality of Aesthetics graphics is usually left out when discussing what should’ve been Sal Barbier’s great legacy, where the conversations usually focus on the amazing squad and the tragic migration to Zoo, which as far as I can tell didn’t treat anybody especially good. Barbier served a short and probably thankless TM stint, Welsh wandered in board-sponsor limbo after fleeing the Ecko empire, Pepper nearly quit skating, Clyde Singleton I guess wrangled a foot surgery before getting out, John Igei had to wait a couple years before going to W.E. for the belated pro nod, and Kevin Taylor has to skate in Zoo York shoes. Is the latter “worth it” though if it funds monstrous backside heelflips and a car note? Probably that’s one of those questions that can only truly be answered in the afterlife, or perhaps the Slap board.
PS, if anybody knows that KT ad I blathered about earlier, by all means post it up somewheres or point me towards it.