Skateboard Decks: The boom of urban culture

The irruption of urban culture was undoubtedly one of the great revolutions of the twentieth century which, as could not be otherwise, found in art one of its greatest expressions. In this sense, the emergence of skateborading as one of the quintessential symbols of this sociocultural movement also became a means of expression for many of the great artists and designers who captained urban art.

But what are the origins of this fruitful union between the world of skateboarding and the world of art?

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In 1963, in the city of Malibu, the first skateboard in history was created, but it would not be until the 80’s when it caused a real furor among the new generations of the time, giving rise to a new phenomenon: ‘skaters’. Since then, skateboarding has become a philosophy of life for many and is still today one of the key elements of urban culture.

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On the other hand, the success of Street art or urban art, despite emerging simultaneously with skateboarding during the 60’s, did not reach its peak until the 90’s, when thanks to artists like Keith Haring or Basquiat it became a worldwide phenomenon that has gone down in history as one of the fundamental artistic revolutions of the twentieth century.

It should therefore come as no surprise that the underground and rebellious nature of skateboarding ended up being creatively linked to street art. Some were punished for expressing their art on walls, others for using street furniture as they pleased… Without doubt, the combination of the two gave rise to one of the quintessential expressions of countercultural movements.

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The auction that will take place on March 4 represents a real novelty in the national market. The collection of more than 100 screen-printed skateboards in collaboration with some of the most acclaimed contemporary artists, skateboarders and designers is arguably the most comprehensive set ever assembled by a national auction house.

The value of these boards created in collaboration with the most iconic brands in the sector lies in the limited editions, many of which have been so successful that they have sold out, as well as in the design and illustrations that, decorating their underside, have become the perfect channel through which to spread the message that the street art launched to the world.

Among the boards up for bidding we find authentic gems such as the one designed by Kate Haring in collaboration with the New York City Skateboards brand in 1986 or the collaborations of great artists such as Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, Jeff Koons, Felipe Pantone, Hiroshi, Murakami, Merilyn Minter or Pure Evil.

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In fact, the fever of the silkscreened skateboards led the great figures of this authentic philosophy of life as Bucky Lasek Tom Knox, Jason Dill or Jake Donnelly to design their own boards with legendary brands such as Santa Cruz, Supreme Element or The skateroom.

In short, this auction that rescues the essence of the heyday of skateboarding shows us the impact it has achieved in the art and luxury market, but also how in recent times and thanks to this type of artistic expressions art has been democratized to become more accessible to the general public and new collectors.

External references to Roman urns

Prado Museum