From the Wall Street Journal:
Alex Castañeda hasn’t had much luck selling his oil-on-canvas paintings of police officers or old men playing guitars. But when he painted corpulent female nudes on the bottom of skateboards, they sold out at a local gallery near his home in Lima, Peru. And he received multiple orders from the U.S. and Canada through the Internet.
“I was pretty shocked,” says Mr. Castañeda, a 24-year-old recent art-school graduate who is not a skateboarder. “They just went like that.”
The lowly skateboard, toy and transport of adolescents and the adolescent-minded, has found a second calling as a platform for art.
This April, a San Francisco art gallery will host a show called “Skate This Art,” featuring works from some 100 local artists hand-painted on skateboards. This past holiday season, an Art + Design Collective retail store in Los Angeles was selling $1,000 skateboards featuring images of stylized puppies painted by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.
Mass retailers have caught on, too: Among the striped comforters and pink lounge chairs sold in the PBTeen catalog are wall-mounted skateboards and skateboard-shaped shelving.
“Skateboards are one of those unique things where it’s a canvas, it’s a lifestyle, and there is a culture around it,” says Mark Schmid, a former professional skateboarder who has founded several skateboard-related companies. “Artists, musicians, they all want a piece of that.”
Skateboards aren’t the only pop-culture item that has morphed into artwork. Guitars, shoes and snowboards are all sold with hand-painted illustrations and used to decorate walls in homes. Mr. Schmid has one company that specializes in selling the mountings needed to hang skateboards on walls, as well as other gear used to display sunglasses, records, and soon, baseball caps…
[continues in the Wall Street Journal]