Matthew Barney x Lance Mountain

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Skateboarding is one of the earliest inclinations that most of us have for personal expression. As a channel for creativity, skateboarding has taught countless generations of kids to take what already exists in the cloud of shared skateboarding tricks and methods, and make it their own. The beauty lies not in the perfection of each skater’s style, but the imperfections that constitute an individual’s mode of expression. This, in a nutshell, is what countless skaters have taken from the sport into their own lives. Whether or not many of us still ride a skateboard, the ability and desire that skateboarding gives kids to creatively express their individual dispositions is a valuable gift that is often taken for granted.

The imperfection that arises is a direct result of the individual constraint that prevents a ‘perfect’ style. While the mass media depicts skateboarding as a network of professionals who throw insane tricks down a dangerously large set of stairs, the reality of skateboarding for most of us is a balance between creating within our own boundaries of physical ability and pushing the boundaries of what we are able to do on a board. In essence, the personal challenge of skateboarding is a perpetual redrawing of lines that constitute what tools are at our disposal when we are expressing ourselves on a skateboard.

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Famed New York based artist Matthew Barney collaborated with Power House and Juxtapoz magazine to bring Lance Mountain to Ride It Sculpture Park in order to ride a deck that Barney created, which is a part of his “Drawing Restraint” series. In essence, Barney’s “Drawing Restraint” examines the creativity that is possible when we draw constraints on the things that we do. In the case of his skateboard, Barney placed a graphite tip on a board that draws on the surface when skated the right way.

The result is a board that forces the skater to reexamine how to express creatively. Conventionally, a mass amount of skateboarding is an expression through lines of grinds and flip tricks. In the case of Barney’s skateboard, a flip trick or grind really won’t leave much of a mark. The expression, which is manifested literally through lines on the ground, is dependent much more on the movement and flow of the skateboard. This graphite restraint challenges what we normally think of as creativity in skateboarding, and pushes the skater to be innovative in different ways.

The board also sold for $25,000 at an auction that will benefit the Ride It Sculpture Park. Hopefully, this will ensure the longevity of the space for future skaters who, although may not end up in the sport of skateboarding, will learn to utilize the tools that are available within their own personal constraints to express each person’s unique disposition that constitutes individuality. This is a cause that we can all support, even if you don’t ride a skateboard every single day.

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