Art and skateboarding go hand in hand, like kick-flips and, um, barrel rolls. The colorful and unique artwork that adorns the bottoms of skate decks that line the walls in shops makes going to your local skate shop like taking a trip to a small art gallery, which is exactly what Todd Brugman, owner of Maximum Hesh skate shop in Somerville, has converted his skate space to.
Tonight, Maximum Hesh will host a distinct art show that exhibits over thirty skate decks that have been repurposed, painted, carved, and cut by local skaters and artists to showcase the artistic talents from the worlds of skateboarding and street culture. After amassing countless used skate decks in his shop, Brugman started handing the nicked up boards to a long-time friend, known as ‘Ktron’, who began using the boards as a canvas for her radical designs and illustrations.
“Skateboarding is more of an art than a sport,” says Brugman. “That’s why there is already art on a skateboard deck to begin with; you don’t see that on baseball bats and other sports equipment. And it’s been a time honored tradition of a lot of skateboarders to be like, ‘oh this is my old deck, I’m going to hang this up,’ and hang it on their wall. It’s a way for skate decks to be recycled as a canvas and turned into fine art.”
Whether you’re into skate art or street cred, these elaborate decks will yield you both. Boasting a range of styles of artwork from abstract, collage, mixed-media, oil, acrylic, print making, and interesting realism-style artwork, tonight’s “Night of the Living Shred,’ art show is an explicit nod to the ever-present skate culture that continues to pervade the city of Boston.
“There’s always been a skate culture here in Boston; it’s less underground than it used to be, because skateboarding is less underground, but there is still a sub-culture that is very artistic and has become more accessible because it crosses all socio-economic boundaries,” says Brugman. “In this day and age, skateboarding has evolved to something that you can see everywhere in the city since it’s not that expensive to get a skateboard. Since skateboarding has become accessible to so many, you see a lot of pro skaters coming out of South America, and others coming out of the inner cities of Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and other east coast cities that are paved with all sorts of different things to use as you skate. It’s like a way to use the city as your skateboard palette.”
Head to Maximum Hesh in Davis Square in Somerville tonight from 7:30-10pm for a curated exhibit of custom skate decks by fresh and innovative talent including, Ktron, Todd Brugman, Abe Dubin, Dan Moynihan, Craig Ronan, Maris Wicks, Sam Shultz, Amanda Clark, Joe Quinones, Heather Morris, TJ Kelly III, Tom Dupere, and Joshua Jenkins. The event is free, sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon, and visitors will have a chance to purchase any and all of the original artworks.