Inspired by his youthful skating days, artist and filmmaker Scott Ogden merged the vibe and culture of street skating with art.
Now, Ogden and I-20 Gallery in Chelsea transformed an ordinary white-wall gallery into a group exhibition curated by Odgen and gallery director Jonathan Lavoie featuring art “decks”–skateboards–with art by artists like Kenny Scharf, Chris Dorland and Debra Hampton.
The decks are fully functional and come in two types: limited-edition silk-screened skateboards and one-of-a-kind decks designed by hand, and all available in a working pop-up skate shop called MAKE Skateboards.
“My first interaction with art was in a skate shop. I wanted to take what I enjoy and like and recreate this vibe into a fantasy shop,” Ogden said in an exclusive interview with “the bare square.”
While the skateboards float on the gallery’s walls, the rest of space is home to vintage objects, rotating pieces of artwork, skate-related accessories, custom furniture (arranged for sitting and admiring the artwork), and clothing by emerging New York designers. Visitors can also see some of Ogden’s personal throwback boards and vintage artwork hidden in the corners .
Ogden keeps the gallery fresh by rotating the furniture in the back and playing around with the colors of the wall on a regular basis.
But the focus and centerpiece is still the art.
Odgen would like to continue with MAKE Skateboards, and will be heading to St. Louis to showcase his exhibit and pop-up shop at the White Flag Project.
“I want to continue to explore with this idea and this project helped me figure out what works and what doesn’t for the future,” said Ogden.
Positioned in the backroom of the gallery, the decks make quite a show, and even include video art. Artist Jenn Ruff filmed her teenage niece in Brooklyn and displays the short video onto a board (lower left), projected from a hidden camera tucked in a miniature ramp.
Artist Kenny Scharf loves to repeat these colorful faces in some of his artwork, making his work especially distinctive. Readers of “the bare square” may recognize a familiar face on the piece Scharf created for Firestone’s exhibit. (We covered Eric Firestone Gallery’s exhibit on nose art, which also featured Scharf’s work.)
Check out some of the hand-made skateboards below, examples of the silk-screened decks located at the front of the gallery.
I-20 Gallery collaborated with community groups, including L.A.N.D. Studio & Gallery, a creative-outreach program for artists with disabilities. A few pieces of the art created by the L.A.N.D. artists at can be seen at MAKE Skateboards and I-20 Gallery.
The exhibit and shop will close this Saturday after a two-month run. But no worries! In case you don’t get a chance to see the exhibit before Saturday, Ogden is currently working on a e-commerce website specifically for the MAKE Skateboards exhibit and the accessibility for anyone to buy the boards at any time. Make sure to check out the main website of MAKE Skateboard to find out when the website launches!
Meanwhile, the video below gives a little overview of the evolution of the genre from “board graphics” to skateboard art. Enjoy!