So-Gnar is back for more. After an amazing experience building out the sport/music Ford Fiesta Park space at X Games Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, my So-Gnar partner Dave Sheets and I are ready for round two at X Games Barcelona.
This is the second of four cultural installations -- our interactive spaces that combine music, skateboarding, BMX and street art -- we are building for X Fest for Ford Motor Co.
The challenge was to create something that represented Barcelona's urban Mediterranean vibe -- a stark contrast to the raw natural beauty we found in Foz. Since Barcelona is a street-skating Mecca, it was a no-brainer to build a street-skating course as the focal point of the installation. So we teamed up with local ramp builders Sergi Arenas and Angel Rodriguez and guest builder Mario Arce to create an action-sports "canvas" for our artists (and local legends) Zosen and Kenor.
"These two artists are hands-down perfect for this collaboration," says Rodriguez, the project coordinator. "Together, they are revolutionizing the Barcelona street-art scene with their unique style and energy."
Zosen and Kenor have been active members of the Barcelona graffiti scene since the early 1990s. The neon colors, geometric patterns and symbols that characterize their style are rooted in the anti-authoritarian spirit of their early days in the punk and do-it-yourself movements.
The influences of skateboarding, fanzines and street culture permeate their contemporary work on the street and in the studio. Zosen and Kenor will collaborate with our So-Gnar team to paint the street-course ramps starting Sunday to have them ready for X Fest when the X Games begin Thursday.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself and my crew designing, building and painting ramps with other core crews of like-minded individuals," says Sheets, the street-course captain for the installation. "The beauty of [the] X Games' global expansion is that it brings together some of the most talented artists, ramp builders and personalities from all over the world."
The obvious final pieces of this interactive sports and art space are music and athletes. DJs Plexiglas and LP will be working the turntables and live local bands 13th Magic Skull and Mistika will play as our crew of local pros ride the street course. On Friday, progressive surf-garage band 13th Magic Skull plays its brand of surf-based melodies at 5 p.m. and again at 6:45 p.m. At the same starting time on May 18, rock cover band Mistika throws down classic rock and metal favorites mixed in with its original tunes.
On the freshly painted street course, local skateboarders Toni Lopez, Pol Catena, Nanaki Costa, Joan Galceran, Yeray Escobar and Christian "Rana" Sanchez will be throwing it down. These guys can also be seen filming video parts around the streets of Barcelona and thrashing transitions at local skateparks.
Watch for their smooth style, wide variety of tricks and the local flavor they bring. The athletes will be performing daily demos during the X Games starting at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. Local skate shop teams and BMX riders will session alongside the pros during each demo.
Fans are welcome to come out and connect on with some of the most talented painters, DJs, skaters and riders in the world during X Games Barcelona. The Ford Fiesta Park is a crossroads for our global sports and arts community that brings respect to the local culture and elevates the concepts of progression on an artist-inspired street course. X Fest is in the Olympic Ring of the X Games Village. It's free to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday.