Today, we have exclusive looks at the highly anticipated solo show from skateboard legend and faithfully followed fine artist, Mark Gonzales. For his first San Francisco show in years, on display at Chandran Gallery, Gonzales continues to present his map works first seen in the new Supreme collection, as well as site-specific, large-scale paintings made in the gallery. 

Street Art is the artist's first solo exhibition at the gallery and in San Francisco, yet his impact on street culture in The City is almost immeasurable. One of the most influential skateboarders ever, he has developed a very unique use of language, with a personal lexicon both raw and poetic. In his paintings, Gonzales has pioneered the way skate culture coalesces with fine art, dance, performance, graphic design, humor, and urbanity. A true original spirit, Gonzales' newest paintings are an extension of his quirky, imprecise method in maps that evoke places of personal meaning with expressive tones.

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Mark Gonzales' impact on underground and mainstream culture is beyond definition, as it permeates so many contemporary scenes. Just one viewing of acclaimed filmmaker and friend Spike Jonze's How They Get there, showed Gonzales was thinking about not only the way movement mattered in his craft, but how experimentation beyond the skateboard would define how he approached art-making. The potential for improvisation helped define Gonzales' work. From adidas to Supreme, Beautiful Losers to showing with the likes of Maurizio Cattelan, Ari Marcopoulos and some of the most prestigious galleries in the world, he is a whirling dervish of constant creative motion and artistic output.

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Just as his skateboarding style turned the idea of street improvisation on its head, Mark Gonzales' fine artwork continues to blur the boundaries of Neo-expressionism and skate culture graphics and logos. For Street Art, the approach is almost more minimal in maps and pathways of youth that stream memory. “My initial inspiration for these map paintings was from a kid in my neighborhood growing up in Los Angeles. He would write with his finger in the dust on parked car windows detailing streets, freeways, etc. I thought to do this but making phony street names and fake stuff onto the canvas.”

Starting as Bristop paper with Sharpies and then applied onto canvas, the works in Street Art were originally shown as graphics on the new Supreme Spring/Summer 2019 line, but quickly indicated how Gonzales' recent studio output was shaping itself. “I go into this body of work as just that, as work, but once I get started it becomes fun.”  

All photography by Tasha Van Zandt