This weekend saw the Portland, Ore. opening of I AM SNOWBOARDING, an extended art project honoring Jeff Anderson. Anderson was a pro rider for a decade. His death in 2003 at age 23 hit the community very hard indeed. This show is in honor of what would have been Anderson's 30th birthday.
Nemo is about the best spot ever to have an opening: classy, cool and one of the city's true creative hubs, especially among the sideways set. (We also like the free ale ...) As Nemo honcho Trevor Graves was one of many photographers directly involved in this interactive art show, everything fit like a glove.
The 30" x 40" pieces here are all true collabos, with a photographer's shot of Jeff -- some riding, some chilling, some from childhood -- blown up onto canvas and then painted or otherwise manipulated by another artist as he or she sees fit. The results are a true mix in terms of impact, skills and approaches but the overall effect of the canvases is ultra-personal in vibe and a fitting tribute to this influential rider. Even among snowboarders, like myself, who never had the privilege of riding with Jeff Anderson, he has come to embody a less fractured and more passionate time in the sport.
A few aesthetic stand outs for this particular beret-less observer were: The whimsical mom shot of Jeff and brother Billy painted over by none other than Mark Gonzales; the perfectly-integrated rail sequence by lensman Tim Zimmerman and Mike Parillo; the Trevor Graves-Adam Haynes canvas for its clever use of space; and the hard-hitting collage done by Ryno using a self-shot of Jeff from his laptop. This last one had a crowd in front of it all night long and really has to be seen in person to truly appreciate its depth.
Oh, and the UFO-meets-Jeffy-doing-a-switch-straightline-down-a-chute by Shem Roose and Scott Lenhardt was amazing, too. As was the 3D installation put together by Jeff's homies from Mammoth based on his '98-'99 season pass.
Prints of the work can be purchased for a screaming deal thanks to Travis Rice and Mike Parillo's new Asymbol gallery. All proceeds go to the JLA Memorial Fund, the completion of the Brothers Skateboard Park in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. and the ongoing support of local art.
First 10 of each series: $300. Next 10: $500. Last 2: $750. Number 23 of each will go up for auction. (i.e. For the truly discerning collector, originals will be auctioned off when the show ends.)
For tour dates and purchase info, head to the official IAMJLA site: where you can view the entire I AM SNOWBOARDING oeuvre including detailed artist bios.
Want good paparazzi shots of Portland's beautiful people and Jamie Lynn's band, Kandi Coded in action? Please visit YoBeat.