“Leap Into the Void II: What is Signified is the Conversion of his Soul from her Present Grief and Wretchedness to a State of Grace”
The title of this work is stolen from two art history sources. Leap Into the Void refers to the 1960 photomerge by Fluxus artist Yves Klein that depicts the artist himself leaping from a building captured at mid-jump. The shows subtitle is appropriated directly from a 1986 Raymond Pettibon drawing. Both references allude to images of flying, surfing, falling, leaping, addressing the irrational and pushing human limits in the face of nature’s restrictions.
While Pettibon addressed this tendency to transcend away from grief to grace through the act of surfing, the work follows this trajectory of emotion through the lense of skateboarding.
The included video work is a montage of live footage and animation. The live footage documents my own personal progression with the act of skateboarding through Boston’s various treasured skate spots -- unofficial and official locations that present obstacles to the skateboarder. The skate spots range from DIY converted hockey rinks to mundane parking curbs in back alleys. The animations illustrate these skate spots with vibrant, vibrant glow colors and are composed to depict the skateboard obstacles as still-life centerpieces. The skateboarder in the animations is Roger Otto, my fictitious green Velociraptor that pays homage to skateboarding dinosaurs of the past.
The paintings and animation frames are presented separately from the video to deconstruct the process of animation to an audience, showing the illusion of life become accessible. In this context, the paintings develop a second life by transforming boring urban sprawl into Utopian arenas of expression through the eyes of the skateboarder. The animation frames freeze the movement of the video so that the viewer can appreciate the technicality of skateboarding.
Leap Into the Void II was created for Summer Studios investigation under the mentorship of Beth Baillro as part of the Art Education MAT program. An official review and screening was held Thursday, June 18th at the DMC lecture hall of the Massachusetts College of Art and Education, 621 Huntington Ave., Boston Massachusetts.