Another off the wall, well, on the floor, project of a different kind: make a 3D street painting permanent on a well trafficked section of pavement used by skateboarders.
That was my assignment for Red Bull at the Skate Park of Tampa (SPoT) – get a Red Bull image down on the floor just in time for the Tampa AM skateboarding event to be held at the end of November. OK, here were the project specs: I had to use paint specifically for concrete, it had to be durable for months, possibly years of continual skateboarding traffic, AND…..I had to make the art work while the park was open, i.e. loads of kids, teens, young adults and old guys shredding up the ramps, lips, platforms, and railings all around us while we worked. Fun for sure – for them. Interesting for me, trying to navigate across the park without getting slammed into or hit in the head with a random board missing it’s owner. Oh, to be 16 again…..
Anyway, I knew the project was going to be amazing. 3d art, skateboarding culture – seemed like a natural fit to me. And Red Bull knew that too – smart! So after some deliberations, I came up with some images for them to consider and they went with the Red Bulls busting through the pavement. The area we were painting in wasn’t configured until a day or two before we arrived in Tampa and the optimal viewing angles would be approximately 50′ (@ 15 meters) away, as seen from a mezzanine on the other side of the skating surface – that required some thought and decision making on the spot(no pun intended.) Usually my pieces are seen from close up, maybe 6′ (@ 2 meters) away at most, so I had to use my computer and camera to assist with the viewing distortion. I decided to add some big cracks and chunky bits of pavement flying through the air – kind of like some of those runaway skateboards – in hopes of creating more depth in that area. I like the idea of messing with the skaters’ perception of the floor, just to see if they really get a sense of distorted space – and man, do I have some good ideas in regards to that, but that’s another project entirely. This was a teaser of sorts, and one that will give Red Bull a nice artistic edge and visual distinction from much of the typical signage branding you see at these events. The skaters who saw what we did seemed to dig it big time – we did get a thumbs up from everyone when we finished!
For more info on the AM events, check out the Skate Park of Tampa (SPoT) link above.
Special thanks to Kelly Rourke, Ryan, Frosty and everyone at SPoT for making this happen. Gratitude to the wonderful Tobie Roach for artistic assistance.