Friday, February 26, 2010

Supreme (art and fart)

The 1994-founded, NY based Supreme skateshop has always been the epicenter of underground culture (hip hop, graffiti, skateboarding) even though now it is rather debatable considering the number of kids sporting the famous 5-pannel caps without even knowing who Robbie Gangemi is. So there is nothing surprising to see that this arty film has been realized by famous artist Thomas Campbell. However what is interesting is to see how OG Supreme heads such as Vinne Ponte, Steven Cales or Robbie Gangemi or Harold Hunter got to benefit from the artistic image that artists used to portray Supreme.

(I love that one, especially for the priceless French commentaries over it)

I mean, take a look at these videos. Personnally, I have a hard time picturing the OG Supreme heads listening to some cozy jazz music before hitting the streets or thinking about how skating in New York involves a constant interaction between their bodies and the urban environment. It seems there is a serious gap between the "artistic direction" of Supreme and the riders they've chosen to represent the shop.
When we think about it, that is probably what made its success: the riders bring the street cred and the artists broadcast it in a cool way. Same thing with OG Alien Workshop and some other companies: in the skateboarding field, these companies were the place where NY dirty scum-skaters (Lenny Kirk, Fred Gall...) and inspired artists and video makers (Chris Carter, Pendelton, Mike Hill...) met. And I have to admit that the outcome was pretty tigh.
If you don't agree with me, you can still watch RB's Umali earliest videos (pre-Gatorade era) because they had the merit to be 100% true to reality, sometimes at the expense of our favourites riders whom we realized to be real cooks. Maybe they still are (true to reality) and maybe Chad Ortiz actually drinks 20 Gatorade bottles a day.

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