– A History of Skateboard Art is 228 pages of full colour, featuring over 1000 skateboard
graphics from over the last 30 years. The book is far more than a gallery of photos
– longtime skateboard artist Sean Cliver gives his insights into the history of the
art, and also into the evolution of the industry. Disposable, A History of Skateboard
Art is packed with long quotes from pro skaters, and opens a window into more than
just the art, but the heart and history of skateboarding.
Sean Cliver, the author of Disposable – A History of Skateboard Art has had a crazy
life. He has drawn graphics for Powell Peralta, World Industries, and Birdhouse. Through
the story of his migration from company to company you get to see the people who started
and ran these companies, their genius and their stupidity, all through Cliver’s refreshingly
frank and honest eyes.
Disposable – A History of Skateboard Art doesn’t just cover Sean Cliver’s art, however.
Not at all. Cliver takes a look at piles of skateboard art and features not just pro
riders but artists as well. Disposable – A History of Skateboard Art is filled with
stories and quotes from skateboarders, skateboard artists and industry leaders – Tony
Hawk, Steve Caballero, Mike Vallely, Lance Mountain, Rodeny Mullen, Bam Margera, Natas
Kaupas, Tomy Guerrero, Marc MaKee, Jason Lee, Steve Rocco and many, many more. Disposable
– A History of Skateboard Art even has extra sidebars that talk about the devil worship
fiasco with Natas’s board, the infamous Napping Negro board, and so much more info
that there isn’t room in this review for it.
And with all of that, I haven’t even talked about the images yet! Disposable – A History
of Skateboard Art is packed – and I mean packed with high quality color images. Cliver
never cuts any corners in this book. He presents over a thousand skateboard graphics,
all organized according to era, company, and pro skater, with accompanying stories
from his own experience or from the skaters who’s names endorsed the decks.
Disposable – A History of Skateboard Art does have an “Explicit Advisory” sticker
in the front. And of course it has to, because of the nature of skateboard art. Since
the beginning, skateboard art has been full of skulls and violence, and with the emergence
of World Industries and Steve Rocco, all boundaries were pushed. Whatever your take
is on offensive graphics, it’s important to remember that pushing boundaries has always
been a big part of skateboarding. The punk, alternative, fight-against-the-mainstream
ideals have always been at the heart of skateboard culture. The graphic images aren’t
too many, but anyone planning on having this as a coffee table book in their conservative
skate shop might want to know ahead of time.
The only other drawback to the book is that it’s not two or three times bigger! At
228 pages is plenty long enough as it is, but I love it so much I just want more!
The world of skateboard art is so expansive, Sean Cliver could make sequel after sequel
if he wanted to. But whatever happens, Disposable – A History of Skateboard Art will
still remain a cornerstone book in the chronicles of skateboarding’s history.
No other book that I’ve seen captures the culture, the bizzarity, the struggling that
industrial and professional skateboarding has seen over the last 30 years. Disposable
– A History of Skateboard Art is the perfect book for anyone who loves skateboarding,
has an interest in the history of skateboarding, or who just loves art. The 30 years
that the book covers makes Disposable – A History of Skateboard Art perfect for old
school skaters and young skaters alike. It’s well written, well organized – seriously,
it’s perfect. I can’t recommend it highly enough. If I could, I would give it 6 stars.
Check out the official website and amazing online gallery http://www.disposablethebook.com/