The old internet adage goes something like: “If it exists, there’s porn of it.”
By the same token, if it exists, there is also #content about dating it.
Not long after skateboarding ceased to resemble anything you could call “a subculture,” skaters enticed a curious crowd of admirers. (Cut to the old head yelling at the cloud: “I miss when we were the outcasts, man!”) Soon, those same admirers began gathering their thoughts into writing, onto the burgeoning internet publications of the 2000s and beyond. And there’s nothing — nothing — that gets a group of people as riled up as an article explaining why they are (or in one case, aren’t) hot.
*Asterisk because two out of three of these blurbs are for photo books, with one of them (the first one) having probably less than a thousand words overall. Anyway, all three of these came out over the course of the past few months, and all of them deserve your time, especially as August grinds the skateboard news cycle to a near halt. Shout out to everyone putting cool shit on pieces of paper and sharing it with the rest of the world, whether it’s a ‘zine, a book or whatever the hell else ♥
Love — Paradigm Publishing
Love is less a book of skate photos, and more a visual essay of what skateboarding looks like when it’s forced to become a form of protest.
Jonathan Rentschler’s book tells the story of Love Park’s final years — a period most visibly represented by Brian Panebianco’s Sabotage series — in black and white photographs. Love was the first time I felt genuine anger while looking through a book about skateboarding: anger at the cops raising up skateboards in smiley triumph as they confiscate them, anger at police officers pulling people by the hair after they throw them to the ground, anger at the politicians attending a groundbreaking ceremony for the park’s destruction, who will no doubt spend as little time in its remodeled incarnation as they did when they were leading a stubborn crusade against the thing giving it life. These images are interjected with a portrait of the community that corralled in a place they were told was not for them. This is not limited to the skaters, but also fringes of society who those same faces of civil service often prefer to ignore.