Many media outlets are touting the 89th Academy Awards, set to air later on tonight, to be one of the most ‘political’ Oscar ceremonies in recent memory; if the previous award ceremonies this season are anything to go by, it’s very likely that Hollywood’s stars will be using their platforms to talk about one important political issue or another.
Charting a course roughly post WW1 through to the mid-to-late 1930’s, The Harlem Renaissance was a movement which, above all else, demonstrated the stunning creativity of African-Americans despite the plethora of injustices and prejudices they faced, and in spite of a systemic racism – political, social and structural – that seemed committed to establishing a narrative of inherent racial inferiority/superiority. Indeed the literature, music, paintings, sculptures and photography that emerged from Harlem in these decades are a bold affirmation of life, a resounding challenge to the status quo and a showcase of the spirit, talent and artistry of Black America.
In the skateboarding world, they don’t come much more influential than The Gonz. Your favourite skater’s favourite skater, father of the modern street style, perpetually young at heart, constantly pushing boundaries and always, always doing his own thing. For many people, Mark Gonzales personifies the inherent creativity that resides at the heart of skateboarding – not only by skating with a fluid, free and innovative style, but by constantly creating, both on the skateboard and off it.
There is an undeniable art in knowing how and when to deploy a long take, and it takes even more skill to execute one effectively. It’s a technique that’s been used by countless directors and cinematographers to build suspense, grab the audience’s attention, maximise the impact of high energy scenes or preserve the intensity of methodical slow-burners. Renowned for being a means to flex some directorial muscle and demonstrate cinematic prowess, long takes have given us some of the most memorable scenes in cinema; from languid, haunting takes by Tarkovsky, to the stylish and buoyant sequences employed by Scorsese.
Controversy, innovation, humour, brutality, politics, personality, artistry, guts, gore – you name it, it’s been on the bottom of a skateboard, more often than not beautifully executed. And in a moment when skateboarding appears to be approaching the zenith of its popularity – when off-duty models and pop stars are wearing Thrasher garms, when the swoosh and the three stripes (along with other big-money sports brands) are pumping shitloads of money into the scene, when the fucking olympic games are attempting to carve out a spot for skateboarding in Tokyo 2020- it’s reassuring to cling to the things in skateboarding which will (hopefully) never change. Though, like everything, quality ebbs and flows, there has been a tonne of stellar skateboarding graphics throughout the years that demonstrate, concretely, the creativity that resides at the heart of the culture, and the vivid imaginations of those who associate themselves with the scene.
A Tribe Called Quest need little, if any, introduction- but on the off chance that you’re not familiar with the Queens NY collective, we’ll try to clue you up. Simply put, MC’s Q-Tip and Phife Dawg, DJ/Producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad and satellite member Jarobi White – otherwise known as A Tribe Called Quest – are, without question, one of the most celebrated, influential and innovative hip-hop groups in recent memory. This is not shallow hyperbole, nor is it misplaced admiration; ATCQ were at the epicentre of the ‘alternative hip-hop’ movement in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and have inspired legions of subsequent hip-hop artists and groups from Outkast to The Roots, from Kanye to Pharrell, from Kendrick to Cole. For real, if these dudes aren’t amongst some of your favourite rappers, they’re most probably amongst your favourite rapper’s favourite rappers. You follow?
Generally regarded as being one of the last great masters of ukiyo-e art – “pictures of the floating world” captured in hanging scrolls, woodblock prints and paintings- Tsukioka Yoshitoshi is one of the boldest and most celebrated Japanese artists of the last 200 years. In a tumultuous career in which the artist was well-acquainted with both relative fame as well as crushing obscurity, Yoshitoshi navigated loss, mental illness, and poverty in order to produce works that preserved the rich and vivid tradition of woodblock printing against the encroaching western techniques of ‘modernity’. Prolific, yet met with just as much ambivalence as acclaim, Yoshitoshi’s work has slowly but surely established itself as canonical in the ukiyo-e genre; indeed many modern critics claim that his vision and creativity was instrumental in imparting ukiyo-e with “one last burst of glory”.
Time and time again, Adam Curtis has demonstrated an inimitable ability to delve into the heart of an issue – be it the manufactured and simplified story of militant islam as espoused by western powers in Bitter Lake, or the failure to harness the utopian potential of early technology in All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace – and sketch out the complex histories, mechanisms and important figures that underpin these particularly postmodern narratives. HyperNormalisation, which was released on BBC iPlayer on Sunday night, is Curtis’ latest attempt to trace the multifaceted malaise that seems to pervade overstimulated life in the 21st century.
When he’s not chasing dogs around the park or changing tyres in record time, Benzo is doing something awesome on his skateboard. Peep the 6 Tricks he threw down for us and you’ll see why everyone loves skating with Ben; not only does he absolutely shred, but he has that goofy enthusiasm and unbridled energy that makes every session better.
Master of the aggression session, wise elder of the skatepark, and he’s even in a bitching band; Gary Ptaszek threw down a quick six on the DSP taco in our latest edition of 6 TRICKS. Cheers Gaz!
The days of late September and early October have seemingly blessed us with , whilst perhaps not an avalanche, certainly a barrage of new albums to get stuck in to. Big tracks from the studio offerings of Solange, Isaiah Rashad and Bon Iver dominate our playlist this week, and for good reason too; the albums are fucking awesome. Have a gander at the eclectic mix of sounds below and see if you dig our selections.
If you follow skateboarding with even the most passing of interests, you probably caught Reda’s recent documentary ‘Brian Anderson on Being a Gay Professional Skateboarder’. Even if you don’t particularly follow skateboarding, news of BA’s coming out has clearly transcended the boundaries of the industry with news outlets such as The Guardian, Rolling Stone and the NY Times all reporting on the recent events. Considering the depth of passion that skateboarders have for their culture, the importance and increasing prominence of the LGBTQIA movement, and also the radness of BA and his stellar career, it’s no surprise that the documentary (which you can peep below, for context) has sparked important conversations in skateparks, and skateshops across the globe. It’s no different for us here at THE6BY6, so we’ve decided to throw our six cents out there and reflect on the many reasons why Brian Anderson’s coming out is important for the culture, industry and future of skateboarding.
The movement or discipline of street photography emerged at the close of the 19th century, when technological advancements ushered in portable cameras which enabled early practitioners like Paul Martin to practice ‘candid photography’ on London’s vibrant streets. There is a fascinating, almost improvisational nature present in the street photographer’s work; the chance encounters and unexpected events that spill out on the sidewalks of our cities, and the fleeting moments and fascinating figures that populate the subway carriages and train cars that dissect our metropolises, are often lost in time or to the chaos of our own manic lives. Street Photography often captures these ephemeral moments, distilling individual narratives of life – a person, a place, a found object, a time of day or any combination of all these things – against the looming backdrop of the restless, unceasing city.
Whether you’ve been to a festival in Croatia dancing at sunset on a beach, travelling to exotic places or simply enjoying a few bevvies with the squad post-work, chances are you’ve revelled in the kinder temperatures of last few months. Few things in life are as pleasant as enjoying the rays of the summer sun while listening to apt, soulful and summery tunes; as such, here at the THE6BY6 we thought we’d hit you with a snappy list containing the bangers that have been the soundtrack to our summer. Whether you want to hold on to those summer vibes, make the most of the fleeting September sunshine, or stockpile some jams to keep you going through the cold winter months, we’re sure you’ll find a new favourite in the list below:
Jam- The Pain- Marv- Martin. A small man of many names, who loves but a few things; his shit car and his skateboard chief among them. Thankfully, he likes us enough to provide us with a gem of a ‘6 Tricks’ edit. Check it out below!
He fixes lifts, he speaks Spanish, he always smells good and, as legend has it, he once ate an entire hot dog in a single bite. Uno Lifto Engineero Darren Roe – better known in these parts as Sloth – is the latest DSP local to lay down 6 tasty tricks for your viewing pleasure.
Although heavily criticised for its grey appearance and totalitarian feeling, brutalism has seen something of a resurgence in the last few years, if not in the hearts of architects in that of members of the public. With more and more Brutalist structures being torn down across northern Europe, lovers of this polarising style have begun to document the remaining buildings and seek to ensure they don’t all disappear from our landscapes. In honour of these building, and those seeking to protect them, we’ve compiled a list of 6 great, (relatively) unknown brutalist buildings.
Textile and design aficionado – Biggest barnet in the west – World cinema enthusiast; Thomas Putman, AKA T Putz, is all of these things and more. Peep the 6 tricks that the PTSK and DONTAGE homie laid down for us at DSP.
In our latest 6 Tricks video feature, DSP Locals Carl and Tom prove that friends who skate together, stay together. Check out 6 of their friendliest friend tricks below:
Our latest video feature sees Chris Chambers – the big bossman over at Dartford’s Altar Skateshop- pop off six quick ones for your delectation. Check it out the clip below:
To quote William Bernbach, one of the founders of the famed DDB advertising agency, “Advertising is fundamentally persuasion, and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art”. In this article, we wanted to take a look at some of the most influential and outstanding pieces of advertising in recent memory. Our selections, both new and old, have either managed to embed themselves into pop culture and a popular consciousness, transform the face of the industry, or shape the culture and convention of the very society that the they operate in.
Check ’em out:
The X-Rated Collection are self-confessed purveyors of original x-rated movie posters of the 60’s and 70’s. Their extensive, ever-growing collection is both an archive of our sordid past, a nostalgic remembrance of the ‘golden age’ of pornography, and a means of appreciating the brilliance of (often uncredited) illustrators, designers and photographers who produced these posters.