26th July 2007
To celebrate the launch of the Nike SB/Blueprint Abington shoe, Go Skateboarding Day rolled through The Old Trueman Gallery on East Londons onetime beatnik hangout Brick Lane this year and played host to an ambitious gallery/celebration of skating.
Blueprint had a strong showing of artwork both past and present taking it back to their original team boards and the classic Rattray decks too. Also the Side Effects of Urethane chaps stole back a block from SouthBank and dropped all 11/2 Tonnes of it in the middle of the gallery!
First thing you see through the door is a section glossing over the start of skating, and the start of rubber plimsoles in the 1800’s and evolving (slightly) to the “Randys 720” from the Randolf Rubber Co. in 1965, followed by the Vans explosion from there on. The show has several classics from the first pro skate shoe from Etnies (Natas Kaupas) closely followed by Vans own “Cabs” in its high, mid and low variety which pretty much follows the trend/evolution of skating. Some of the fallen giants had a good representation with pretty much a full set of Vision boots notably the DV8s and also Airwalk showed out with some shoe-goo’d up 540 Pyros and 720s. For the Vegans there was a blast back to Zero 2’s velcro skate shoe with stick on ollie pad!
Shoes were out in full force, Nike Thrasher Edition Nike hightops surprised a few, one of the highlights for me (other than the Pacer Hogs!) was the adverts from magazines that accompanied the shoes. Duffs adverts (Cobnobblers) and an exceptional photo of Sal Barbier in front of an NBA crowd doing a japan air out of a kicker in”23″ shoe from Etnies. It’s one of the long running sneakers in skating, and pretty much every company has a version of it on their roster. They have a full museum in Stuttgart, and judging off this display, its definitely worth hitting up.
The Side Effects Of Urethane‘s contribution was more than just showing up with a block….they produced 6 more skateabale sculptures and placed them at official locations around London. 12 Nike SB skaters teamed up with 6 photographers and spent a couple of days shooting to get the photos beamed on the gallery walls.
A whole wall of the gallery had some stunning shots and sequences of the Nike/Blueprint team hitting up these blocks all round the capital under the watchful eye of police on horseback!
The Blueprint side of things had some great art, their display would outshine most of the galleries displaying end of year uni shows on Brick Lane this month. Their space was pretty much the opposite of the crisp and clean presentations from the other chaps. With two walls of montage from different kinds of media it would take half an hour to take in all the hidden gems.
These ranged from and some sharp photography and portrait shots of Mike Wright and Danny Brady as well as random picking from adverts from Blueprint over the last decade. Some of the boards were amazing, I think Vaughan Baker did some of the more noticeable work, some of his boards were framed in a golden frame and were the pick of the bunch for me, right up there with the work Andy Howell has been putting out. A great varied display, they have the right to be proud of their history.
Nike’s lowkey contribution apart from the Jordans from ’88 and aforementioned Thrasher sneaks was to show off the “next thing” in skate shoe technology with P.Rods latest sneak and the Blueprint collaboration sneaker (The Abington) too. Both sneaks all happily deconstructed to show you where you what sixty five of the Queen’s finest pounds can furbish your feet with..
The Launch party was London’s usual crowd. All the good fellows who put the show together were on fine form and proud of their achievement, and so they should be, it was a great collaboration that hopefully will be repeated in years to come. With the wealth of talent skateboarding keeps locked away it’s a wonder we don’t see more of this happening, im sure there are enough photographers and artist out there…
Blueprint, NikeSB, TSEOU and Made for Skate – we salute you and your efforts!