The Ripper is arguably the most iconic skateboard graphic in history. Vernon Courtlandt Johnson developed it in 1978 for Ray Rodriguez, Powell-Peralta's first pro skateboarder. Last month, Powell-Peralta hosted the Rip the Ripper Art Show in San Diego with 58 artists creating pieces. The pieces are all viewable online. Seen here, left to right: "Doughboy Ripper" by Lance Mountain, "Untitled" by Esao Andrews, "Obey Ripper" by Shepard Fairey. From George A. Powell's story on the exhibition page:
(The Ripper) was developed over a period of about six months, during which the basic concept of a skull breaking through a barrier evolved through a number of evolutions, each of which simplified and strengthened the basic image. It was purposely undertaken as a follow up to the tremendous success of Court’s first graphic, the Skull and Sword, which had been drawn for our first pro skater, Ray Rodriguez, the year before.
When Court undertook the development of the Skull and Sword, he started with only a scribble on the back of a matchbook we received from Ray. It didn’t really look like a skull and sword, but that’s what Ray said it was, so we believed him, and Court set out to make it look a little more like one.
Skull and Sword was to be Court’s first graphic and would require a conscious departure from his original fine line “0000 Rapidigraph crosshatch” style so we could silkscreen it. Since he was learning to use MC Escher’s unique shading style and had to apply it to a skull, he asked if we could buy a skeleton to draw from, and so we did. Rosie, our medical supply skeleton, still resides in the Skate One Art Department thirty years later, but she is a little ‘worn’...
Football is about one thing and one thing only: dance. As far as I can tell American rules football is where men in elaborate costumes, featuring tight pants, seek to stop other men from dancing. Colloquially known as a touchdown celebration, the body of rules and regulations managed by the credible governing body, the National […]
Free diving holds a special terror for me. I’ve lost two friends to abalone diving, here in Northern California, and while strenuous and dangerous, it doesn’t hold a candle to competitive free diving. Adam Skolnick’s One Breath tells the tale of Nick Mevoli, a superstar whose death put the sport on trial. Mevoli in 2013 […]
The tripping balls coyotes of Marin county are a real thing. As I drive my daughter to school in the early mornings, this year, we have seen some odd, and entertaining coyote behavior! Theory has been that local coyotes have been eating some mushrooms that make them trip out. Single coyotes have been running into […]
Remember back to the time when people thought java was just a hip way to talk about coffee? Or you vaguely remembered from geography class that it’s an island in the South Pacific? We’ve come a long way since then and now that we’ve rocket blasted into the tech future, you’re going to need to […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]
Real engineers build things. Super cool engineers build things with their hands and fingers, like our engineering forefathers did. No idea where to even begin to do that? This step by step Arduino course is now 92% off and is going to get you up and running, from zero to hero, in no time. So […]