If you live in NYC, this is one show you’re not going to want to miss! Starting April 16th and running until May 14th, you’re going to see skateboard decks like you’ve never seen them before. Jonathan LeVine Gallery will be presenting Future Primitive, new works by Tokyo-based artist Haroshi. You may remember Haroshi as that madly talented self-taught artist who takes old skateboard decks and turns them into incredibly cool works of art. (See older post here.) This will be the artist’s very first solo exhibition in the United States and first solo gallery show outside of Japan ever!
Inspired by the beautiful city of New York, Haroshi will show full-scale, 3D wooden sculptures made entirely from used skateboard decks. As a sneak peek preview, the gallery sent us these three images which includes a recently commissioned pair of Nike Dunks!
How does he do it?
Jonathan Levine Gallery lets us in on his secret: “After a careful selection process, Haroshi stacks his chosen decks into layers, cuts mosaic pieces, assembles them into a desired shape and meticulously carves each form by hand with skilled precision. He achieves a colorful, striped pattern by stacking the boards with keen attention to the exposed rails (outer edges) rather than applying paint. Haroshi occasionally incorporates naturally broken boards in their original shattered form, creating textural contrast between smooth silhouette and splintered, raw edge. He also re-purposes discarded grip tape as a tool to sand and finish the surface before applying final seal.”
One of the most interesting aspects to his work involves something the average viewer will never see. “Many of his sculptures contain a metal object concealed within the shell of layered skateboards,” the gallery says. “This is sometimes a broken skateboard part from the artist's collection or another object with personal significance. Haroshi describes this practice as ‘giving a soul’ to the sculpture. Additionally, he produces X-rays of these works in order to reveal the objects hidden inside.”
Go to the Jonathan Levine Gallery website for more details.