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.
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.