The Japanese artist Haroshi creates extraordinary art made entirely from used skateboard decks. His latest exhibition opened on Saturday night at Jonathan Levine gallery in Chelsea and is remarkable.
Based in Tokyo, this year marks 35 year old Haroshi’s 10th year in using skateboard decks as his medium for his exceptional fine art. A skater himself, Haroshi never trained as an artist. Instead his process was purely organic when one day cutting through one of his decks, he noticed an interesting pattern of stripes inside from the layers of laminated wood and so began his art.
Haroshi doesn’t use any paint or pigment in his sculptures. This makes the incredible colors achieved in his work even more marvellous when you realise the meticulous labor that must be involved in achieving the perfect and peaceful looking gradients of striped colors.
No part of the skateboards (and they are used first) goes to waste, with the wheels and other metal hardware used as accent pieces in his work. The piece garnering the biggest accolades at the opening from the hip skater crowd was “The Cat”, a large sculpture intricately pieced together with thousands of tiny mosaic pieces from skateboards.
Haroshi has also been known to hide objects inside his art, following in the tradition of ancient Japanese Buddha sculptures.Haroshi. Virtual Reality. Jonathan LeVine Gallery. 529 West 20th Street. New York. 10011. Tel: 212 243 3822. January 12th-February 9th, 2013.