(Untitled Publishing and Gingko Press)
Most skaters would choose a magazine over a book any day if they wanted to find a connection with their skating…but this hard-backed autobiographical colour explosion is an exception to the rule.
Andy Howell’s Art, Skateboarding and Life is exactly what is says on the cover displayed through endless painted pictures, timeless graphics and two bonus DVDs- one being a documentary about Andy, and the other being a collection of out of print skate videos Andy worked on (New Deal, Underworld Element, Sophisto…). For that last fact alone, this book is worth its weight in gold!
Andy, along with Amely Greeven, has managed to merge the lines between the pretty pictures that adorn your skateboard, and actually riding that skateboard. You see, often when artists release books of their work, it is hard to visualise just how important some of their pieces were to skaters. On the glossy pages, their designs look unblemished and ready to be framed in some art collector’s house. When Andy put pen to paper, he also put truck to coping and needle to vinyl. Andy was a professional skater, a DJ/Producer and an artist all rolled into one, and this book visualises it all.
In a loose chronological feed, friends, fans and associates lay testimony to the skills Andy possess’, alongside Andy who tries to explain his creative process and inspirations. There are sweet anecdotes like Andy being Tony Hawk’s No.1 fan, or the emotional drive Andy felt when his father passed away. It’s all in here, and in Technicolor!
I’m not much of an artist myself, but I really find this book enthralling. Between stories, graphics and audio-visual stimulation, this book has me hooked. Art, Skateboarding and Life is available in the UK from www.hypestore.net