Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Mark "Gator" Rogowski.
I wasn't ever a big Gator fan. His Transworld Pro Spotlight seemed really weird to the fourteen year old version of me. I don't think his graphics ever appealed to me either, although now being older I can fully see the benefits of continuity with variation on a theme. Sean Cliver has written a couple of great pieces on the numerous versions of the Gator spiral at his Disposable website. This is a stark comparison to the high turnaround rate of today's industry. When you say the name Tony Hawk or Steve Caballero or Jason Jessee, there is an instant art image to go along with the skater that is already burned in your mind, if you are old enough.
When was the last time that happened in skateboarding? Maybe with Chad Muska, but that was over a decade ago now. What pops in there for Eric Koston or Daewon Song or any of today's top pros? Are you really thinking Mike Carroll's Calvin eating mac & cheese model when you read his name? Well, OK, I am, but most probably aren't. I guess what I'm saying is that most of today's young pros aren't going to have an encounter down the road with somebody who got their board graphics tattooed on their arm like so many of the 1980s finest have.
I'm not writing any of this to complain or berate any of the fine artists and designers in today's skateboard world. A lot of you guys and girls are doing a great job. Please keep it up. These are just a few observations on how the visual mythology of skateboarding has changed. And for those that are putting the rider's name in a giant bold font and passing it off as art, try a little harder.
Transworld - December 1988 Volume 6 Number 6