Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Sparks Plus

April 21, 2019

Provocative graphics in the post-shock age are hard to come by, when Natas Kaupas’ salute to the Beast is sold as a nostalgic hoodie item and wistful treatises are penned on black-bagged World decks of yore — to say nothing of all the grisly deaths, esoteric pr0n and freely performed varial flips lurking mere keystrokes away in HD video whilst riding the bus, or in the comfort of one’s own barn. Truly, as Pharrell Williams stated on Jayne Mansfield’s major-label debut mixtape, “nothing is shocking bro.”

To be sure, board graphics continue to test the gross-out bar and do their best to nose-thumb in civilised society’s general direction; French subcultural chroniclist Seb Carayol compiled for Vice a memorable graphic rundown that included one recent board with multiple Disney Co. trademarks involved in a very sophisticated, adult and exceedingly complex scene. FA’s ‘coke dad’ was pretty gnarly. Grasping and rattling the deck-glimpser on a deeper level generally remains a harder trick, though, partly because the mutual rejection once relished between skateboarders and the rest of the world grows muddled by municipally sanctioned corrals, high-dollar endorsement arrangements and the recent adulting trend that increasingly is believed to extend career expectancy by an average of 2.5 video parts.

Rust-belt psych merchants Quasi Designs managed a rare one this week, blurting an ugly, all-caps assessment of the US youth condition, situated below two bits of Americana. On the provocation spectrum it lands somewhere around Jim Thiebaud’s ‘hanging klansman’ and Guy Mariano’s ‘accidental gun death,’ jolting the spirit, versus jabbing the uvula or leeringly stroking the libido. Whereas artistic critiques are better left to pedigreed knowers, this graphic may have been equally memorable as a sort of nihilistic cipher, with no real clue as to the maker’s feelings on the subject. But Quasi makes clear they plan to donate 50% of profits toward March For Our Lives, which funds gun violence research and seeks stricter firearm laws.

Is the mark of a truly provocative board graphic making parents sit up straighter and wrinkle their noses, versus rolling their eyes or wearily raising their brows? As company owners and graphic designers age into those perilously overlapping Venn circles of marriage, mortgage and children, does their ability and willingness to stab at societal norms wilt? Are basic logo’d board series such as Plan B’s actually super risky and challenging via courting indifference or outright contempt among would-be deck buyers, thereby putting the company itself in fiscal peril due to an unwavering commitment to its artistic vision of stylized logos?

Above The Fruited Plain With Torey Pudwill, High On Freak Pills

July 4, 2011

Cue the kickflip lipslide to switch k-grind and out the door goes any notion that Torey Pudwill might put some kind of lid on the video game tricks in favor of putting his oodles of raw talent toward something like a concept-part, and that’s okay — Pudwill gets it in wearing mustard yellow sneakers and anything less than his usual all-the-way-turnt-up tech probably would be uncivilized. The line through those La Brea* ledges sparks the idea life again, until he goes supervillain with the backside noseblunt and starts kickflipping sidewalks and twirling over pic-a-nic tables, but when this dude applies himself to tricks like that bump-to-bar nosegrind and the backside smith grind through the blue kinker rail, if I was a cellar door searcher, I’d be glad Torey Pudwill’s not out there looking to eat my lunch the way it seems like he could really do on the energy-drink contest circuit if he had a good day.

When he did that looong backside noseblunt I sort of moaned and it came back louder after that launch-ramp b/s tailslide. Dario Rezk gets points for subtlety on an off-the-flat ender, even with pop being one of Pudwill’s stocks in trade. When it came out that Thrasher was going to be the exclusive home to this latest marquee web-part, and the ensuing hype cycle on the website in the last couple weeks, I got to thinking this was Plan B’s way of trying to slot Pudwill in for SOTY. It would be hard to argue with. No doubt these are precision moves, nollie flip backside tailslide bigspin flip out, but those arms work in his favor because if we’re putting a technician on the pedestal I’m going for the sweaty, hairy unhinged one versus the switch-flip-switch-b/s-tail-coloring inside the lines of Shane O’Neill, in some paint-by-numbers Janoski/flannel/backward snap-back ensemble. If Pudwill comes back with a part filmed in the second half of 2011 featuring a load of frontside tailslide and frontside smith grind tricks then it’ll be game over.

*Or wherever — you know, Danny Garcia localizes them