DECK THE WALLS: SKATEBOARDS AS DECOR – THE HORROR!

There’s really no excuse for this. Unless it’s a college dormitory or your parents’ basement or the living room of a pro skater or the place of business for somebody connected to the skateboarding industry (and by extension the surf industry), skateboards as decorative wall art is no bueno, brah!

You see, savvy reader, once you’re past a certain age and a certain living circumstance (i.e., you’ve moved out of your college dorm room or parents’ basement into your own apartment or one-bedroom condo) your choice of decor and artwork should show that you’re adulting, and we mean adulting hard!

You should be hanging some real artwork on your walls. If you have a spare $450 million lying around for a rare Leonardo da Vinci painting, well, that would be a good start. But you’re practical — you don’t throw around that kind of money on a painting (which is possibly a fake anway) even if you have that kind of money.

Think more along the lines of some tasteful framed black and white photography. Or a framed Shepard Fairey poster or a signed and numbered Mr. Brainwash print. Even framed covers of vintage 1970s Playboy or New Yorker magazines is acceptable.

But skateboard decks! No! If you’re Tony Hawk, then it’s ok. Are you Tony Hawk? No, you’re not (unless, of course, you are Tony Hawk — Tony, is that you? Are you reading our blog? — OMG, Tony, you’re so awesome, bro!!!).

If you’re Banzai Bowls, a fine establishment and purveyor of smoothies and açaí bowls in the picturesque seaside hamlet of San Clemente, California, then it’s also acceptable to hang skateboard decks on you walls (see photos above and below).

Banzai Bowls can do it because they’re part of the surf-skate culture and San Clemente is a serious surf-skate town, if not the modern American surf-culture capital.

 

BEHIND THE SCENES: EXCRUCIATINGLY AWESOME VIDEO SERIES “AT THE MUSEUM” SHOWS INNER WORKINGS OF MOMA

The MoMA (that’s the Museum of Modern Art in the New York-fucking-City) has recently launched a web video series on YouTube called “At the Museum,” and we, savvy reader, are L-O-V-I-N-G it. (See video below!)

It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the innermost workings of one of the world’s greatest art museums as it prepares to mount a major exhibition. It’s documentary-like, but only to a point. The tone is more cinema-verite in a reality-TV-show way, but produced in ultra-understated, high-minimalist style. There’s no narration. No explanation. No formal sit-down interviews. When staff do talk to the camera, it’s while they’re working, doing the mundane daily tasks of their jobs, like the way witnesses in an episode of “Law and Order” always answer detectives’ questions at their place of work while continuing to do whatever it was they were doing (unloading a truck, wiping down a bar, butchering meat, etc.). 

“At the Museum” may have documentary and reality TV bones in its basic visual-narrative architecture, but its manner is the polar opposite of the chaos, Real-Housewivery or Kardashian-Jennerisms we’ve become accustomed to from contemporary reality TV. And it’s far away from anything by Ken Burns or Werner Herzog. No pans, no scans, no slow zooms, no German accents, no depressive anecdotes.

Each episode of “At the Museum” is about ten-minutes long and focuses on some aspect of the museum from the mundane to the important, e.g., shipping and receiving of the artwork. There’s high drama, too, but it’s not obvious and it’s largely confined to the nuances of the art world and its culture and codes. There’s much being said and interpreted in the raised eyebrow or long pause in speech by one of the many MoMA staff, some of whom seem like walking-talking art-world cliches straight outta Central Casting.

But these are real people. The type of people who live, breathe, eat, drink, fuck and poop art, and the type who love their jobs, for whom displaying a small Max Ernst sculpture a quarter centimeter higher on a platform makes all the difference. And we love it! Watch this series.