Joe Leonard and I have been friends for almost 20 years. Originally meeting in Atlanta around skateboarding which lead to shared interests in music, coffee, music, and making the majority of the people around us very uncomfortable. He has worked with some of skateboarding's biggest talents and photographers in Atlanta as well as a handful of models and still lifes in New York City. One of my fondest memories of Joe will always be a prolonged conversation with a stuttering police officer at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga attempting to see how many different ways one could say Chattanooga. Yes, we were young asses... it's still funny.
SSL: How would you describe your relationship with photography?
JL: The act of taking pictures and myself are life partners. We share the world together. We are constantly searching and observing everything we can as we move about. The camera gives me something to hide behind, or a reason to talk to strangers. I am lucky to have found something that can pause a particular moment in time and save it for later. Otherwise these moments would just be a passing glance that I’d never revisit. Photography allows me and others to take a look at the world's tiny details. You just need to stop the momentum and take a longer look to really see the beautifully mundane details.
SSL: Would you say its a healthy codependency, or maybe your sidepiece?
JL: UGH... I don't know!
SSL: What makes a moment worth revisiting?
JL: I think time makes a moment worth revisiting. I think it’s nice to look back and see what you might have missed in the moment, or what is no longer here. Also it could be just simply looking at a snap shot and remembering a good time or a special vacation or an event in your life. I like the idea of pictures as documentation. A little kick start to trigger your brain to remember.
SSL: You've had opportunities to photograph professional skateboarders, musicians, and models. Are you allowed the time with each subject to capture these details, or are these situations simply focus and shoot?
JL: I don’t think time has to be a factor, sometimes you get a great picture in 30 seconds. What I want to do when I shoot anyone is find a genuine moment. Something in between a thought or something “normal”. Everyone already knows “this person” does “this thing”. I don’t care to showcase that. I want too see something else, anything else, real life. With that being said, if you are paying me money for a particular image, then it’s not really about what I want and I’m happy to fulfill a need.
SSL: What are some of the most memorable moments you've had the opportunity to capture?
JL: When I look back, I feel that I was lucky to have captured any of the moments that I have. It's like I've said before, the span of time, and the fact that you are so far removed from the past makes these pictures special. At the time they are taken, you are living that situation, but when you are seeing a picture in retrospect you can really appreciate what you've captured and enjoy the memory, or just study the changes that life has made.
SSL: What is the most impressive moment you wish you were able to photograph?
JL: There are characters that I see walking down the streets almost every time I don’t have a camera or can’t get to mine ready quick enough. I don’t know if those are most impressive moments, but I do wish I could photograph these amazing humans.I hate missing out on taking any pictures. I think it all comes from my age, and the feeling of losing my youth. I want to be able to show my daughter and the future generations what the world was like in my time.
SSL: Do you think the accessibility of cameras have changed people's lives?
JL: What I would like to say to all young photographers is not to get too caught up in trends. Ten years from now your "cool" picture is going to be irrelevant. Keep it simple, let the work speak not the trend. As a young photographer I got caught up in the fisheye craze of the 90's. I feel like I blew an opportunity to document my life and the lives of my friends during that time from a normal perspective. All I see now are distorted images of a really great time that I shared with some really great people. I really missed out on a great body of work!
I'm going to talk about camera phone because I feel that having access to cameras is not as impactful as the phone.
The camera phone has played a huge role in changing photography over the past 10 years. It's become common place to have a phone with you at all times, thus having access to a camera any time you want to snap a picture. Also Instagram and other social media sites now give you a platform to share your work with the world. I have film from 20 years ago that no one has ever seen, there just wasn't a way to get it out. Now you upload your picture and get instant feed back. You can get a real feel for what people like and dislike. You can see and correct your mistakes instantly. Today you can be a great, even a commercially successful photographer and never touch a "real" camera. Another thing about camera phones is that they now can speak for people who can't speak for them selves. It gives people the ability to bring attention to things that need to be seen and heard. We can't hide from it, it's part of everyday life, so you better watch what you do because there's someone right there ready to catch it on camera.
SSL: What lead you to capture the image of van used for your skateboard graphic?
JL: The Image of the van, just happened. I usually have a camera everywhere I go, I took that picture on a work trip to Paris. It's just a picture I shot while walking around looking at everything. It was a passing moment that I caught and now get to look at when ever I want.
With so many people having access to cameras, and to some degree surveillance devices, where to you see the future of photography going?
JL: Everyone has a camera, that's for sure. I don't think that that's a bad thing. I do feel that a lot of it is disposable in a way. I have 1000's of pictures on my phone alone. That's 1000's of pictures that are most likely just going to go away, with my next phone upgrade, or when my phone dies. People will always take pictures no matter what the format is. I don't have an answer about the future of photography. I know that I'll be taking pictures for the rest of my life, it's just part of me and what I do. It's part of my daily routine. Pushing that button gives me an outlet, I just love to push it and hear the click!
SSL: Is there anyone you would like to thank for anything?
JL: I want to thank everyone for everything they do that make life what it is. I love you all.
Joe Leonard currently has a photograph book for sale and was recently featured as a Slapstik artist for the deck series. You can follow Joe on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/joeleonard/
Most Philadelphians know Nathanael Cabigting as one of the many talented skater who have worked at Nocturnal Skateshop. What a lot of skaters don't know is that Nate is a creative writer who recently earned a degree from Temple University with plans of finding new ways to helping others enjoy life. Even if that means posing in short shorts on Instagram.
SSL: What made you decide that storytelling was the best way to communicate with people?
NC: Storytelling for me is the easiest way to achieve what I want to accomplish with writing.
SSL: Did you attempt any other means of expression before finding your voice with writing?
NC: Prior to writing fiction, I used to be all over the place when I was figuring my creative outlet. I took up painting for a while which I really enjoyed, and music still continues to be a primary means of expression. My poetry phase came directly out of my music. I used to write melodies for songs and then write the lyrics, but when I tried the reverse I found it more difficult to write accompanying melodies. Eventually, I grew tired of trying to create instrumental melodies and so I focused more on the sounds of the lyrics I was writing and these ultimately became poems. I still occasionally create visual art, but it's more of a side project.
SSL: Who do you see as your audience when you're composing a story?
NC: In terms of an audience, the only people I'm really hoping to reach are people who need a laugh. Over my time writing my focus has changed drastically. Previously, I was hellbent on conveying intense emotion and all that poetry stereotypically presents. Now, I'm more hellbent on getting a laugh out of people or brightening their day.
SSL: Does that influence your choice of words?
NC: My word choice with fiction is still heavily influenced by my poetry writing and music writing. I find that reading fiction is far more enjoyable when there are teeny phrases that break up the monotony of typical prose. In addition, I hate hella proper prose. I've found that sometimes the general narrative of stories gets lost behind dense sentence structure and "classical" vernacular. Like when people read the classics and think that's what writing should sound like. It's incredibly frustrating to read stories that sound like they were written in the 20s in 2017. So now, my word choice resembles pretty common language, filled with improper slang. I've read a couple novels that I've enjoyed where the prose is insane, and filled to the brim with academic language, but those pieces are few and far between.
SSL: While reading your story Finding Peace in a Ramen Bath, I could feel your words trying to pull my responses in different directions, something that doesn't necessary occur when I speak to you in person. How does the voice used in your writing compare to your own?
NC: The voice in my writing is a combination of both my formal and conversational tone. In my poetry, the language tends to be more what I imagine poetry to look like. As a result, the tone and voice in those pieces seem more uptight and formal. In my prose, the voice is more conversational because it's more reflective of my general thought processes. I don't want to say that I put less effort into thinking prose lines, but there's definitely a lot more liberty that I take with those phrases that I nix with my poems. I always try to condense my poems, and stretch my prose.
SSL: It's funny that you mention your distain for writing styles from the past that come across as dense. Do you believe that contemporary readers need to be constantly entertained with significant events happening or lyrical language in stories to hold their attention?
NC: I don't really believe that contemporary readers "need" to be entertained by reflective events and happenings in stories. That's always a weird thing to notice in a story you're reading. I understand the merits of doing it, in that the story becomes more relatable, but personally for me it always puts me off. As far as language goes, I think it's one of the more important aspects in shaping stories. Tone and voice give the story its own unique character, and it works in either direction. A great story could become terrible with a terrible narrative voice, and a shitty story could be interesting if it's written in a great and unique voice. It doesn't necessarily have to be "lyrical" in the sense that it's poetic, or in the sense that it's musical. However, I do think that the tone and style of the language is what ultimately captures the reader. Would Harry Potter have been as successful as it is if it were written in the narrative voice of H.P Lovecraft? Would more people read Dostoyevsky if Crime and Punishment were written in the style of Hunter S. Thompson?
SSL: The success you speak of may just come down to timing. What makes a writer of the 21st century like J.K. Rowling successful could be linked to the appetite of her peers and readers. Many respected writers like Henry Mellville had minimal success during the publications of his works, but their popularity and respect has grown over time because of changes in the population. I know that my personal preferences for meticulous and painfully detailed writing makes it difficult to me to find contemporary writers, but I'm also aware that my preferences are not what drives sales anymore. Do you think there is a balance between the two styles?
NC: I think there's a definite balance between lyrical and conversational styles. One example that I can think of is Keith Buckley's lyrics. His lyrics I think exemplify this balance. One of my favorite pieces of his is "The Coin has a Say." The casualness of the lines plays well with the near rhymes, and they paint a whole portrait of this dulled man and it's exemplified in the last few phrases "Metallica without the drugs, a faith healer without the plant." Another example could be found in the lyrics of "Romeo A Go-Go." The same casualness that's found in "The Coin has a Say" is present, but the portrait is one of a physically savaged man who just wants to impress his presumed lover. As he describes himself "the Don Quixote of the ICU." In both instances, the casualness of delivery by the narrator describing his ruinous and deteriorating state work well with the lyrical near rhymes, and present a clear portrait of the characters in question.
SSL: Thanks for the Keith Buckley recommendation. I can understand why you would refer to him as an public and private styles merging. It does make me more aware of artists and performers in general becoming constructed personas that show their audience a performance with brief moments of self reflection. That seems to be what sells these days as the weight of reality is hard to market. How much of yourself are you willing to expose in your work?
NC: I have no issues with with exposing myself in my writing. It's cathartic and to a degree, therapeutic. I use writing in some ways to work through strife or figure solutions for a lot of my personal issues.
SSL: How do you see yourself moving forward in what could be interpreted as performance writing?
NC: Moving forward, I'm still trying to figure out the next subject for my next piece. I've been watching this show Ash vs the Evil Dead that's been refreshing in terms of satire horror writing which is where a lot of my interests lie. Maybe I'll write a short horror story next. I have a lot of ideas but none that are really fleshed out.
SSL: Aside from exposing yourself through your writing do you have any other projects in store for the near future?
NC: I've been really busy with my bands and writing music, but that's really it. Some of the lyrics for these new songs were poems that I reworked and I'm excited to release them.
SSL: Do you have any last words?
NC: A good daily reminder I've been telling myself is it could always be worse.
It is rare that you meet someone early in life that appears to live on parallel tracks. After attending the same high school, undergrad university, and similar graduate programs located in the same city hundreds of miles from Atlanta, Georgia, Chris Hall and I have experienced a lot of the same things, at moments completely unaware of the other's situations. We've stayed in touch for many years and have helped each other out whenever possible. I say all of this because Chris has a received some well deserved attention from the art world in Atlanta with a review of his upcoming exhibitions opening March 2nd, 2018 at Blue Mark Studios. An installation of 1,355 drawings, some of which were part of the Clarence Emmons deck release in Atlanta from 2015, will be display for one night only, so this should not be missed.
Below is a conversation between Bender Hardware Atlanta legend Jeremiah Babb and Slapstik artist Shawn Beeks. These two have known each other for more than 20 years and spoke in July 2017 about the skateboard industry, art, and what it means to be yourself. Additional images and interviews from this time period can be found in zine inserts of the Slapstik Skateboard Art Safety Face 2 deck available online and in select skate shops.
JB----1996, Why start a skateboard company? How did you find sources for boards, printing shirts, stickers, etc?
SB - In 1996, I was splitting my time drawing and painting at the University of Georgia and skating with a core group of about 15 guys all over Athens. I knew at some point I would need to start selling artwork, but couldn't figure out how to do it since it was pretty heavy handed. Skateboarding was going through a period where outsider companies like Calvin Klein and the Army were posting ads in magazines, conflicting with the identity and code of skateboarding that I grew up with in the mid to late 80s. Starting a board company was the best way for me to voice my ideas and beliefs while promoting the artwork coming out of my studio. What it also did was show others with similar beliefs and thoughts that they weren't alone with the voices in their heads, and it was ok to question the things going on at the time. As far as resources go, my friend Woody started a company called Pickle and needed someone to do the art. Woody eventually got out of selling boards and I kind of took over his production account with the manufacture. I worked as a screen printer at Screeners run by a guy named Jeff who allowed us to print shirts on our own time, which give me the hands on experience of learning how printing and design worked. Stickers anyone could get through a supplier called Sticker Guy, who I still use today. Most of this stuff is accessible to everyone with the internet. In 1996 you just had to try a little harder.
----You hand drew every board graphic to size, right? Why go that obviously difficult route? Although there was one Raped Inc logo board, every board has been meticulous art, to scale, right? And primarily black and white.
Right. Up until 2002 I drew everything, including the color separations, by hand. I'm a classically trained artist who entered school at a time when programs like Illustrator and Photoshop were being introduced to the students. I can be really stubborn, and didn't want to change no matter how much more time it took. All the graphics were drawn to scale with pencils, pens, brushes and whiteout pens, and they took forever to complete. Making them black and white cut down on the production time and forced the viewer to pay attention to the message. I didn't see the point in hiding a message behind pretty colors, at least not at the time.
----Each graphic had serious meanings behind them. beaten women, business men using the backs of others as a ladder, Jesus crucified backwards, insulting the Olympics, the CK One graphic, what was the response from shops in the deep south when you showed up with these boards? Was it totally over their heads, or did they even notice the graphics?
HAHA! Everyone noticed the graphics. If they didn't at first, they pulled them from the wall or spray painted over them. Most shops didn't really know what to do. I remember walking into shops and seeing challenging, even offensive graphics covering the racks, but that's what made skateboarding so good. You were sometimes forced into uncomfortable situations, whether physically in the act of skating, or intellectually when looking at art by Mark Mckee or Jim Phillips. Most shops in the southeast didn't get it. They were afraid to ask what the graphics meant, and just as afraid of having customers get offended for not asking as well. One thing I can say is the shops that did ask why were typically the ones who bought the decks and supported the brand because they could understand it.
----I heard the rumor that after the wood shop got the graphics for one particular board, there was a phone call made to you.
You're talking about the backwards crucifixion. Yeah, I got a call from my manufacture about a week after I mailed the artwork and was told he didn't really feel comfortable printing an image of Jesus on the cross mooning you. We had a good talk about its commentary on the branding of religion and he agreed to print it. I'm glad he called and wanted to talk about it rather than just refusing to do it. Again, that represents what skateboarding could be, stopping to ask why before accepting what's put before your wallet.
---- How did Jamie Thomas come to criticize and confront you about not only the name, Raped Inc, but the board graphics?
Where do I begin with this one. Each year, between 96 and 98 all of us in Athens would take a road trip to contest at Tampa to hang out and eventually find our way to Ebor City. I believe it was 97 when I brought a few shirts with me to the contest to get some feedback from people in the industry. I ran into Jamie Thomas and offered him a shirt with the mission statement on it because he was a big name leading the market at the time and I respected his opinion. He took a look at it, long enough to read the name, and handed it back to me stating "You won't sell anything with that name." I wasn't prepared for that because it contradicted his rebellious image, but it did let me know he was first and foremost a businessman. That's all there really is to say about that.
---- I'm sure people, open minded skaters such as DLX, had more of an understanding, right?
Not really. Large brands like DLX do a lot for people under their tent and communities throughout the country, but one thing you have to remember is none of it has a chance to go unnoticed. It's all PR. They're very smart in the way that they've figured out how to maintain their sales by churning out bright, eye catching graphics capable of poking fun of things, but never digging underneath the surface to address serious problems. The best comparison I can think of is a Warhol factory with 15 minutes of fame on a constant loop. There's no room for substance because it will get drowned out by the noise.
----There was always a team, but it never felt like the team was selling the boards. It felt like people were all in or disgusted based on the name and art alone. The team just seemed to be almost the dudes who were carrying a flag and supporting the ideas and direction. Does that make sense? How did you come up with choosing the team?
Yeah, for the most part, that makes sense. I looked for people I could hold a conversation with, enjoyed skating with, and most importantly had a desire to contribute to the image and ideas of the company. In that sense, it was more like a conversation rather than a sponsorship. I could always count on Chris Head to contribute some crazy ideas going well beyond what I thought I could get away with, which gave me a good starting point to work away from. Tyler Kline was always a source for abstract, borderline conspiracy theory input that's gotten more passionate over the years. Jeremiah, Mike Summers, and Nick Turner all fueled with the company with youth and excitement of what was possible on and off a skateboard. It was enjoyable just to watch people grow up.
---- I think that's one of the biggest points missed by kids, is that it really is all business. Every company that's marketed and put out there lives and dies by sales. And it seems that the majority of the "owners" whether they're who the magazines portray them to be or the money behind the scenes, would happily say, "Well, that was fun while it lasted. What’s my next investment?" or, how can we re-brand this into a modern company that kids will buy. It's a shame that reality isn't the romantic video/magazine persona. I've had many times during my sponsor-life, aka the best damn intern you'll ever have, that I said to people, "I should have just stuck with Shawn. At least he's true and I fully believe the vision."
As much as I would have liked to keep riders on indefinitely, I realized that it was in their best interest to see what the rest of the industry was like, even if just to give them some perspective on how it works. I remember telling everyone riding for me that raped inc. or Slapstik was just stepping stone to help them along to sponsors that could do more for them. It was really hard to tell someone that I didn't think it was right for them to come back to the company because as much as I may have wanted to support them, I knew that their ideas and skills needed a place of their own to grow without the limitations of my brands. Sometimes believing in something isn't always the best feeling.
---But the news is just a filtered version of happenings, right? People are super opinionated now, violently at times, but surely there are things to address and ways to do it. I thought the drawing with the Islam water fountain ripped off the wall was brilliant. It was truly a raped inc graphic. And finally, if people are being silenced by those in power, do you think those people are trying to gain some form of power themselves? I know that's not skateboard related, like we're speaking of, but the best thing about your art and brand is that there has never been a struggle for power or acceptance. It's here, 22 years, and if you're interested, come around it. It's been my favorite thing about Raped Inc and Slapstik. Terrible "marketing" strategy, but beautifully romantic, and exactly how I grew up skating and pulling from punk rock tunes.
The majority of the news has been curated in a lot of media outlets to echo the opinions of the people watching it, but that doesn't mean that all the news you may disagree with is "fake." It just means you have to look at multiple news sources from around the world to get a better view of what's happening here. I think your statement about the news easily applies itself to marketing in skateboarding. Kids want to be entertained with images and videos that fit their beliefs and lifestyles. Anything stripped of those elements that boost their self-esteem is often seen as a threat and dismissed. Think of Stereo in the 90s, and more recently Dylan when he rode for Gravis. If you didn't fit, you were dismissed. I've just tried to be a honest as possible, which as you know is a terrible marketing strategy in an industry that is built on fantasies.
---- Do they owe us a living?
Of course they do.
Jenkenmag was nice enough to take notice of the Casual Encounters skateboard graphics designed by Ivette Spradlin and Lenore Thomas from Pittsburgh, PA in November 2017 article Dissecting the Dick Pic. ANTHONY PAPPALLARDO & LARRY LANZA 's article delve into skateboarding's complicated relationship with bodies, censorship and capitalism. Take a few minutes to read, and a few days to think about it.
Do Something is a fundraising campaign designed to raise funds for nonprofits playing an active role is representing and defending the rights of minority populations in the United States targeted by hate groups, individuals, corporations, and sometimes politicians. The goal of Do Something is to raise awareness and support for proactive organizations through donations. In exchange for donations of $5 to $50 skateboarders will receive products they would have purchased anyway including shirts, wheels, videos, and decks from skateboard companies sponsoring the event. Nonprofits for each event are chosen according to current and ongoing issues in need of attention.
This event started primarily as a fundraiser for the NAACP Defense Fund to coincide with the release of The Slapstik Skateboard Art Safety Face 2 deck, a response to the August 12th, 2017 Charlottesville protest and murder of Heather. After further reflection it was clear that an attack on one oppressed group in America is an attack on all of us, thus prompting the inclusion of the ACLU and the Human Rights Campaign.
Included with each Safety Face 2 deck will come with a new Benderzine celebrating the 20 year anniversary of Raped Inc. Skateboards’ start in Athens, Georgia in 1996. Raped Inc., started by Shawn Beeks years after reading Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock, ran for 5 years serving as a way to start conversations in skateboarding about politics, violence, and identity. At its end in 2001, Raped Inc. became Slapstik Skateboards, which continues to address these same issues of politics and identity with a more humorous tone.
Please join us at Brook Run Skatepark on October 14th, from 1-4pm for the fundraiser and Slapstik Skateboard Art deck release.
MICHEAL ASHFORD, BETTER KNOW AT TATER, OR MR. TOT, IS A LONG TIME RESIDENT AND ARTIST OF NEW ORLEANS WHO SPENDS HIS DAYS AND NIGHTS MAKING ART INHABITANTS FOR PEOPLE'S HOMES. MICHEAL'S DEDICATION TO TO DETAIL CAN EASILY BE SEEN IN THE COLORFUL WORKS HE PRODUCES FOR ART FAIRS AND SMALL BUSINESSES IN NEW ORLEANS AND THE COLORING BOOKS HE'S CREATED FOR ALL AGES.
What's your name?
Micheal "Tater Tot/ Mr. Tot" Ashford.
How did you get the name Tater, Mr. Tot?
The legend is pretty uninteresting. I had been on a hiatus from the skate scene and I was coming back to a new shop opening up. Earlier in the day my friend Ben just looked at me and said "you look like a Tater Tot." I didn't think anything of it but when we meet the new shop owners before I had a chance he said "This is Tater Tot" and so the saga begins.
Where do you live?
NOLA! New Orleans, LA
How long have you lived there?
8yrs or so.
What got you interested in making art?
It's always been apart of my life. From drawing, coloring, or building things. Even in regular schoolwork I would draw elaborate diagrams or pictures from the book to study.
Do you think drawing a visual helps you gain a better understanding of things?
It's a therapy for me. My mind is constant whirlwind of noise and pictures. It all slows down just a bit when I'm working.
Have you seen any differences in the way you make, or promote images you've made for yourself and for others, like Sever Provisions, or the Slapstik deck you designed?
There's a definite difference. You have a outside influence that you're trying to cater to and a lot of time you have to water down your work. It's a practice in telepathy or mind melding in a way. As far as promotion goes when it's in collaboration with a company I try to promote myself more because it's not just for me. You have to help the company too who is kind enough to invite you in on a project. I'm pretty lax in self promotion. I just get stuck in the work.
How do you define art?
I think anyone can be an artist because I feel like if you put your all into something and people recognize that and appreciate it then you're an artist in your field, in your art. I guess I define art as a need, want, passion, etc.
How do you participate int the arts community where you live?
I participate in the Magazine Street Art Market and pop-up shows. I'm an artist for a local outdoor life company called "Sever Provisions". Really anytime I have a chance to help or promote art I'm ready.
How do you define success in art?
It's not so much a monetary thing. A little helps just for more supplies but like I was saying earlier to see someone appreciate and feel the love you put into something. Like you've made something someone else wants to love and take home. Marrying off kids.
Who are some of the artists or people who influence your work?
There are sooooo many. All of my parents are hard workers and have crafts that they're artisans themselves. My friend Andrew at Midcity Handmade. His dedication, work ethic, and the pieces he puts out are simply extraordinary. Marc Fresh has been putting out stuff in BR for a long time and I use to think "whoa! Who is this person? I want to do that!" Obviously skate art growing up. I didn't go to art school or anything so getting a catalogue was my school and there was so much input. It was great. I feel like back in the day there was more art on boards as opposed to more of graphic driven boards now. Years later I got Andy Howells book 'Art, Skateboarding, and Life' and grew up loving his work and then I read the book and was like I need to change everything and keeping me on the trail I'm trying to blaze.
What would you like to do with your art in the future?
I have tons of ideas and they grow everyday. So really to be able to delegate my time better so I can get to all the projects I have planned and to just keep refining my work.
Where would you like to see it and what do you think is the best way to get it there?
I don't have a end game or specific place I'd like to show. Each time someone purchases and loves a piece that does it for me. Everything else is happy lagniappe. Seeing stuff on people's walls, on stuff for Sever, and the "Forest Entry" are happy surprises that I never thought would happen so it's really humbling.
Are there any closing words you'd like to add?
Let your heART burn I guess. Blah.
Any people you would like to thank?
Oh my. My mom! Nothing would happen with out her. All my parents and family. Paul at Sever. You (Shawn) at Slapstik. Emily, you’re so cool. Chimento has done so much for me. All of my friends! Anders, Molly, Ben, Amy,Nah, Hannah all amazing supporters and artists in they're areas. Rukus, Chief, and Heartthrob for being my first platforms to put work on things. Also The Duke and Randa! And Hey! Cafe. Andy Howell and really, so many more. Doing a "thank you" list is my worst nightmare. I'm going to have to write a book on day. I love ALL of you with ALL! Merci!
To see more of Tater's art and designs visit Mr. Tot's Markings, Sever Provisions, and Slapstik Skateboard Art.
Forage Space Gallery in Scranton, Pa will be exhibiting a vast collection of drawings by Shawn Beeks with the hopes that many of them will not return home with him to Philadelphia. Works posted include illusttrations from Cat News, Arthur Asks, Jesus Answers, Flirting with Plastic Surgery, 100% Proven Ways to Enlarge Your Penis, Fairy Tales and other Lies, and various rejected submissions to history books. Drawings will be hung salon stye and available to take home upon purchase. Hope to see you there. And skateboards. There will be skateboards.
For more information, visit foragespace.com.
The Mr. Arm and Rachel at Trundle Manor locating in the hills of Pittsburgh were kind enough to provide temporary home for the paintings and prints of Slapstik Skateboard Art and Pusher Wheels artist Shawn Beeks. During the month of September and mid October of 2015 you will be able see the comedic nightmares illustrated in oils amongst the walls of taxidermic experiments at the manor. Pittsburgh's City Paper promoted the opening here. You still have time to check out the show and if you're in Pittsburgh on October 16th, come by for the closing.