Book Review: Highly Anticipated "Mark Gonzales: Photographs by Sem Rubio" Monograph
There are a few icons in culture and sport for whom the mere utterance of their name elicits transcendence and style. Everything that comes after them is compared to their creativity and innovation. Michael Jordan did it in basketball, Miles Davis with his trumpet, and Jimi Hendrix with the guitar. In skateboarding, it’s Mark Gonzales, a true original who took the freestyling and originality of street skating and turned it into not only an art, streetwear and film career, but a lifestyle. Mention of “The Gonz” around the right crowd conjures up so many emblematic moments in skate films, art shows, and commercials, as well as for the coterie of collaborators who have also become world famous: Spike Jonze, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tom Sachs and the entire Beautiful Losers group.
Mark Gonzales is the first comprehensive monograph devoted to the NYC-based legend’s pioneering work in skateboarding and culture, with contributing photography by Sem Rubio and an in-depth look at a career that spans the pages of Thrasher, the cultural empire of Supreme, and the breakthrough of outsider art culture into major museums around the globe. With written contributions from KAWS, Ed Templeton, Tommy Guerrero, Tony Hawk, Stan Smith, Gus Van Sant and more, Mark Gonzales is not only about the skater himself, but a look at the wide-spread influence of skateboarding across so many cultural endeavors over the last 30 years. Through one icon we see the evolution of an entire industry, and, like the pivotal figures listed above, he has forever changed the possibilities and innovative techniques of one of the world’s most beloved and dedicated lifestyles. —Evan Pricco