Through their daily practice, skaters develop the unique ability to revisit the spaces we inhabit and redefine everyday objects. Overlooked environments— such as an empty swimming pool, sidewalk curb, or the handrail of a staircase—inspire skaters to invent new tricks and shape their style. Fully immersed in a culture that celebrates new ways of reinventing forgotten or discarded objects, Haroshi layers and carves used skateboard decks from his community to create his artistic world.

Comprised of entirely new works, DIVE IN TO THE PIT at Jeffrey Deitch invites the viewer into the world of the skater and underground artist Haroshi. The exhibition title evokes the energy felt from diving into a mosh pit at a punk show and riding over the waves. DIVE IN TO THE PIT invites the viewer to stand at the edge and drop into the “mosh pit of the skateboarding world.”

Haroshi’s Mosh Pit series, displayed in the front and main galleries, are paintings made of repurposed skateboard decks. These works are imbued with the combined influences of street and punk cultures while paying homage to Pop art. With a composition that recalls Jackson Pollock’s all-over paintings, Haroshi’s Mosh Pit series explores a new way to make an Action painting—giving a sense of the body in motion. The works illustrate the way skateboarders use their bodies while skating. Each scratch on the deck is like a paint stroke on a painting, imprinted onto the surface by the skater’s movement. For Haroshi, the scratches and stickers on each broken deck represent the passion of their riders.

In the storefront gallery, the GUZO sculptures further exemplify Haroshi’s simultaneous devotion to both skating and artmaking. In the artist’s own words, “GUZO are god-like figures that express a profound respect for the self-sacrificing spirit of skateboards themselves that have supported endeavors of skateboarders.” By creating his works from preowned skateboards collected from friends, skate shops, and the global skate community, the artist pays tribute to the collective experience of skaters’ lives.

Photos by Genevieve Hanson