Point Green is proud to present it’s first show, PUSH ART, curated by “DJ SMOKE L.E.S.” chronicling the intersection of the art world with the skate world. “Push Art” presents seven artists from the old-school to the new—Lurker Lou, Paper Skaters, Silas Finch, Rodney Smith, Pat Hoblin, Ian Reid, and Jake Shellow—and seeks to act as a retrospective of the underground skate scene from photography to sculpture to painting.
Moving away from the usual aesthetics of the street and street art, the artists in this show have instead taken to more traditional art forms like conceptual sculptures, abstract painting, manipulated photographs, and documentary photographs while maintaining the pathos of the street. This is most evident in Lurker Lou’s castings and other manipulations of sneakers and fire hydrants, both potent symbols of the street and of skating culture now nestled onto the walls and into the corners of a gallery.
Paper Skaters’ wheat-pasting inspired large format prints—comprising a mosaic of USPS shipping labels, themselves a staple of street art, pasted over plywood intentionally cut to follow the jagged outline of the stickers—bring the weight and energy of the street to an art context as well. The near life-sized portraits bring dignity to the jersey barrier and emphasize the grace and movement of skating.
Jake Shellow is a new entry to the art scene and still a student at the School of Visual Arts, where he studies photography. While he is the youngest artist in the show, his photographs echo a bygone era of documentary photography before the medium’s full embracement of conceptual art, with black borders making explicit that these scenes are as his camera saw them. His work is paired with that of Ian Reid, an old-school skater with a more contemporary documentary aesthetic favoring busy, complex, and multifaceted compositions and photo essays. Both of these photographers find their pictures on the street and seek to capture the energy and richness of public life.
Silas Finch embraces this aspect of the skate world with worn leather shoes conjoined into purely impractical pairs meant to be appreciated as art objects deserving of spectatorship. His “Dirty Laundry” sculpture appropriates old skin mags intermixed with political scandal and a wry sense of irony.
Pat Hoblin’s abstract paintings and manipulated photographs have a sense of movement through swirls of paint which embody the energy of the street. A skater with an irreverent way of being in the world (while others might hesitate to skate over gravel or rough ground, he simply ploughs through), his work reflects this approach.
Rodney Smith had his humble beginnings as a skater in the early 80s making his own boards before co-founding the NY skate brand SHUT and the original Zoo York. His boards and photo collages (one picture is surrounded by a border of cassette tape facsimiles) act as an anchor to the early history and start of skateboarding. Their colorful nature exudes a sense of the playfulness and DIY sensibilities of skate culture and harken back to an era when skaters did it all themselves, whether that is shaping boards, making spaces to skate, or documenting their experiences.
Whether it’s fire hydrants, specially made boards, or a collage of postal service address stickers, there’s just enough of an artistic intervention in the work so that the source is still visible just behind the artifice of sculpture, montage, or photography over top.