Skateboard Art: Todd Bratrud and his "Filthy" Pictures of Titties and Blood
Photos and Words by David Downs
(View Todd Bratrud's Slideshow)
Now two generations into skateboarding, America continues to blur high and low art with its celebration of the culture's artists. The skate deck functions not only for shredding, but as an informal tableau for the personality of both the artist and the rider.
Often juvenile, nihilistic, brutal iconography, criss-cut with the battle scars of the daily sesh, advertises lifestyle and sensibility. The deck is a portable billboard, and in the spirit of all advertising as art – established names like Santa Cruz's Todd Bratrud can command the ...
gravitas and dollars of high artists.
Bratrud presents a new collection of more than 75 illustrations, paintings, and prints called “Half-Assed” (View Todd Bratrud's Slideshow), hosted by Upper Playground in association with FIFTY24SF Gallery.
From the release: “A self-described jack-of-all-trades, Bratrud produces work that ranges from illustration and design to painting and printing. Currently, he's designing for several companies such as Flip Skateboards, Volcom, and Burlesque Design of North America as well as illustrating for the skateboard MAG. Bratrud also makes it a point to help his friends in whatever they're involved with: Brimley, Roots, and Nike SB to name a few. In addition, he's working on getting his wheel company, Teenage Runaway, up and running. "Between skateboarding and making 'art' I don't really have much of a life, but I guess there isn't much more to life for me anyhow."”
'Half-Assed' shows through September 30th at Upper Playground.