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through july 30 in Manhattan…
Tony Bennett unsuspectingly coined a new term of surprising relevance when he once said he liked what Oskar Kokoschka did “along the peripheter.” Though meaning the perimeter and periphery in the painting itself, he innocently zeroed in on a murky netherworld away from the formal where success and failure, acceptance and indifference, and Tony Bennett and Oskar Kokoschka meet. Like these two disparate personalities, the artists in The Peripheterists elude the standard definition of outsiders to form a diverse and unaligned but oddly complimentary non-scene that doesn’t really register with either the hoi polloi or the intelligentsia. In many cases low-key and unsung though prodigiously gifted, all are fairly unconcerned with and unknown in that rarely satisfying milieu known as “The Art World.”
The Peripherterists examines the wide-ranging connections, affinities, and allusions amongst works that posses the popular appeal often absent at the your typical white cube. That luck, social standing, ladder climbing, and a multitude of other variables determine who gets fêted is not news by any means, but it does give rise to an urge to address that vexing situation with a gathering of mostly uncelebrated rare birds. A few encounters amongst many will have Mark Hubbard’s fantastical diagrams for actual skateparks, Gloria T. Park’s expressionist wig designs, and Jim Nieuhues’ paintings that are the basis for ski area maps consorting with Sereno Wilson’s glittery Nubian goddesses, Nicole Andrews’ paper cutouts of ennui-suffused suburbanites, and Stu Mead’s poignant, troubling, and very funny depiction of sexually active adolescents. This is not a polemic but an excursion into parallel realm of wonderful art that combines the fiercely individualistic and unorthodox with the accessible, and brings up old-fashioned but eternal questions about what art is and why people bother.
artists: Nicole Andrews Brandes, Natascha Belt, Dave Bevan, Dwayne Boone, Gerardo Castillo, Rick Charnoski, Edward Colver, Ale Formenti, Renée French, Joseph Griffith, Thomas Hauser, Mark Hubbard, Chuckie Johnson, Gary Kachadourian, Taliah Lempert, Doug Magnuson, Alfredo Martinez, William McCurtin, Stu Mead, James Niehues, Gloria Park, Daniel Pineda, Randy Turner, Dennis Tyfus, Unidentified Cameroonian barbershop painters, Sereno Wilson, Jesse Wines, Jason Wright…
so good, and now on DVD…
by JOCKO WEYLAND
Along with San Francisco and Barcelona, New York is arguably the modern street skating city, both in reality and image. Because of the unique background, experience and perspective of the film’s creators and the decision to “cast” the city of New York as one of the main characters, Deathbowl to Downtown promises to be an unprecedented, seminal film.
Like Rick and Buddy’s other work, Deathbowl to Downtown goes deeper than ‘just’ skating to combine documentary with an incisive and artful exploration of skateboarding and its culture. On one level it’s about street skating, but also an anthropological overview of skating’s epochal shift from the parks and pools of the 70’s, to ramp skating in the 80’s, to the street ascendancy of the 1990’s as seen from a New York-centric perspective.
With interviews covering the oldest school originators to the newest school up steppers, comprehensive and much of it never-before-seen video footage, and present-day film shot by Nichols and Charnoski, ‘Deathbowl to Downtown’ addresses broader issues: How changes in urban planning and design affected skating (and vice versa), the unexpected late 20th century shift of cities from places normal citizens feared to tread, to tourist destinations, and the parallels between the modern history of American cities and skateboarding. That is, the way New York, and skateboarders, went from being ignored and reviled through 70’s and 80’s to being accepted and celebrated. An entertaining, eye opening, thought provoking take on why the action on New York’s dirty, grimy, and hectic streets represents skateboarding to millions of skaters and non-skaters worldwide.
“DEATHBOWL TO DOWNTOWN” 2009 directed by Buddy Nichols and Rick Charnoski
check the Deathbowl website for much more…