Sk8 Like Canvas Vol II Opening
Saturday night was the opening of the Sk8 Like Canvas II exhibit (see Vol I photos here), curated by my friend Mr. Klevra. This year’s edition was held at the Galleria Ex-Monti Club and any worries I had about people staying away due to the drizzly weather were soon erased when the space was soon packed to the gills with people, all clambering to view the more than 65 boards on display. This year’s show once again showed the diversity of modern art out there and just what can be done using a simple recycled skateboard deck.
This year’s edition was dedicated to the late Tony Perez, a very talented artist who had become a virtual friend to both myself, Mr. Klevra, and thousands of others via Flickr. It may sound odd to some, but a very small community of artists from around the globe has found a home there, trading images and commenting on each other’s photos, providing support and critics from around the globe. I was first introduced to Tony’s phenomenal, multi-layer, hyper-real stencils by Mr. Klevra almost two years ago and was struck not only by his work, but how generous and kind his words were. He always took the time to comment back to the enormous amount of comments he would receive and, in turn, he was extremely supportive to others in the community. I first wrote to him when he was having a bit of trouble with the color balance in photos he was taking of his work and eventually even commissioned him to create an Elvis stencil as my mother’s Christmas present last year. She loved it so much that she eventually bought two more pieces on her own. I was at the London airport on December 23 when I received a call from Mr. Klevra that he’d seen through Flickr that Tony had died of a sudden heart attack on December 21. An incredibly sad and senseless loss of a wonderful human spirit. Simply looking at his photostream and the comments he is still receiving lets you know how much this man touched people he never even knew in person. People may complain that social media and the internet are causing us to stop creating real connections with each other, but I know that my reaction to his passing is proof that you don’t need to meet someone in person to hold them dear.
In honor of Tony, Mr. Klevra has dedicated Sk8 Like Canvas to his memory and in the back corner of the gallery you will find two skate decks Tony had already created for last year’s edition, as well as pieces from the personal collections of Mr. Klevra and Omino71. Please take the time to stop by, read his story, and pay respect to the work of Tony, as well as the other talented artists in the show.
Sk8 Like Canvas Vol II
In Memory of Tony Perez
Galleria Ex-Monti Club, via Baccina 66
January 22 – February 12, 2011
Open Mon – Sat, 3 pm – 9 pm