Verb is a collaborative initiative which aims to bring about a positive societal change while demonstrating that art as a medium has no boundaries. They have recently launched the Verb 2013 Artist Skateboard Range: a collection of skateboard decks by 6 South African artists.
Here are the results, together with an excerpt where each artist explains the thinking behind their work.
“I wanted to do a design that you can spend time looking at; something that takes you away from the surroundings you’re used to and adds a sense of adventure.”
Daniel Ting Chong:
“I initially started with a completely different design to the one that is printed. I sketched out an idea of a boy and girl hugging each other on the edge of a mountain cliff. The pose was meant to be very dramatic with the boy holding the girl with her legs curled up behind her. The twist was that in each of their hands they had a knife pierced into each others back. Dramatic right? On the morning of the deadline, I decided to change my design completely. I didn’t connect with the characters anymore and just didn’t like it. I then had a more graphic approach of creating intricate twists and curls out of ribbons which represent intersecting pathways. When you have a glance at it, your eye follows certain paths but gets confused by overlapping sections. You almost have to stop, look and navigate where you are again.”
“I was thinking about the word ‘nowhere’ and how, when broken into two, it becomes ‘now’ & ‘here’. So it represents both being lost and found. I then applied this to the old saying “I’m in the middle of nowhere” which, when stated, is both a declaration of being lost, but also establishes a specific location – if that makes any sense. I then just turned the ‘H’ into a character, seeing as he is literally in the middle of nowhere.”
“I happened to be overseas when I was asked to design a board, so it felt right to make a board about ocean adventures, the discovering of new lands and strange creatures, and of course the illusive search for hidden treasure.”
Hanno van Zyl:
“I wanted to design something that specifically acknowledges the fact that it is on a skateboard. That would mean that it will get completely trashed after about two days of use. I wanted to take this into account and implicate the skater as part of the artwork. ‘Hot chicks’ were a stock-standard graphic option for skateboarding brands (think of the iconic Hook-ups brand) and was hugely popular when I was a teenage skater. I offer a slightly more honest and sinister look at this stylistic trademark and how it interacts with the idea of female objectification and the male gaze.”
“When I thought of lost & found I thought of ancient treasure, of heaps of gold and rubies hiding in an undiscovered cave. I was then really intrigued by a genie’s lamp, but instead of a typical genie I wanted something more animalistic, so the wolf genie was born. I kept the scene quite dark and ghostly and then used metallic gold as a reference to lost treasure and magic.”
Not part of the official series of 6, Ninjabreadboy also created a really great deck which was showcased on the launch night together with the rest.
Purchase the limited edition decks from Revolution Online here.