But what I’ve never seen is a combination of freestyle AND tattoos!
But what I’ve never seen is a combination of freestyle AND tattoos!
In the Winter of 2016, I fell in love with parking blocks in the depths of an unassuming New Jersey parking garage. Rows and rows of them. Always in pursuit of the best low impact skateboarding I can find, I would spend nearly every night from January through April realizing how much potential these mini concrete flatbars had packed in them. As skateboarders, curbs and parking blocks are up there among the most appealing found pieces of architecture to mash our trucks into and slide our decks across. From those seemingly perfectly polished California red curbs to the crustier east coast hexagons that chip away to exposed rebar, few skaters can say they have gone without hitting a parking block one time or another.
In the midst of this developing love affair, I came across the work of Cory Scroggins, (aka @CoryTheCreative on Instagram) and found another skater out there who seemed to share this affinity for the blocks. In his work, Scroggins has painted blocks of all shapes, sizes and colors, to compose his neon and pastel-heavy aesthetic. Whether busting out his favorites, either lipslides or front/back blunt slides, or having a casual session, Scroggins told us, “to me the parking block is one of the more fun things to skate, especially with your mates. With a fresh waxed block and sesh with your friends, there’s nothing better haha.”
Beyond the blocks though, Scroggins’ art catches the eye through the variety of non-conventional mediums he uses. Random slabs of wood, broken boards, cassette cases and beer cans are all subject to be taken by Scroggins’ brush and reimagined in a colorful second life. Speaking on his choice of canvas, Scroggins says, “I honestly enjoy painting on all different types of objects and items. No real preference as long as it’s not something brand new. There’s just something to an old item or object that tells a story all in itself before I even paint on it.” For example, if you see some of his work on that pint bottle that would have otherwise been trashed, you might see that it’s actually an IPA from that local brewery up the street from his studio called Upland Brewing Co.
As for the other bottles and scraps that Scroggins salvages, you might find them at a pop up art show, of which he has had plenty. When asked about the process and intent behind his shows, he told us, “When I had my first couple of shows years and years ago, I didn’t really know what to expect. Some folks where taken back by my style while other loved what I was doing. When I have these shows I try to have a theme or a message I want to say, instead of just making all about me or my name. In the end I just want to inspire others to be creative and to be comfortable as the kooks they are.”
As for some of these other kooks Scroggins has worked with, his work was notably shown at the Quiet Life’s “The Art of Table Tennis” show alongside the likes of Chris Pastras, Henry Jones and one of his best friends, Lucas Beaufort.
The ping pong paddles he designed helped benefit Long Beach’s homeless community. With impactful goals in mind for shows like this one, it is important for Scroggins to dive right into the creative process when an idea arrives. This way, he can avoid, ideas “sitting in your mind floating around [and] not being put to use. Wasting away. When I get an idea that I’m really excited about, I try to draw it right away so I don’t forget it” he asserts.
Not only is Scroggins dedicated to keeping his ideas from going to waste, he is committed to fostering environments where up and coming creatives can let their ideas out as well. To speak more about his vision, he announced, “I’m working a project to give back to skateboarding and the youth. I’m currently planning out 10 stops at skate shops to have shows and bring art supplies and skateboards to create unique experiences and donate all proceeds back directly to each shop I stop at, in hopes to build up creativity and spark positive change. While this announcement leaves us to question whether or not his tour will breed the next generation of parking block painters, there is one thing for certain: with the eclectic collection of work that Cory Scroggins has produced thus far, those participating will have all the inspiration they need to emulate both his creativity and his humanitarian endeavors.
To follow the upcoming events, drop Cory a follow on Instagram here.
Cannot Be Bo(a)rdered is a visual exploration of youth rebellion through skate culture. The exhibition will explore popular 20th century subcultures in new works by 34 artists/collectives from France, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Using the skateboard as a primary medium, each work challenges existing stereotypes by
reconstructing a new narrative through different creative styles and visual expressions.
Cannot Be Bo(a)rdered was first commissioned for the Aliwal Urban Art Festival (AliwalUAF) by Arts House Limited (AHL), as part of Singapore Art Week 2016. It travelled to Urbanscapes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 23 April – 8 May 2016, where nine Malaysian artists were added to the lineup.
In 2017, the Singapore Embassy to France invited curator Iman Ismail and AHL to present the exhibition at the Urban Art Fair in Paris. Nine French artists from Paris.
Here is a sample of the work that was showcased. As you can see, it exceptionally creative. Here’s hoping that the work will eventually wind up here in North America!
Your work is almost, actually not almost, but everywhere. You started painting those characters on the covers of magazines, ads along with collaborations with bunch of brands. You are French and you got a huge amount of exposure in skateboarding in only few years. We don’t know how you did that, but we have 4 questions for you:
1- Why combine skateboarding and painting?
Skateboarding is the best thing ever ! I can’t see my life without it. To be honest with you, skateboarding gave me this need to paint. I remember when I was a kid, I wasn’t interested by the brand but more about the graphic.
2- How do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from everywhere, from where I eat to how I make love. If you open your eyes and you take the time to see what is around you, you will feel me.
3- What is your goal ?
My goal is to bring something special to the world. I don’t want to come out with something that you see everyday. It’s weird to say but come on, what’s the point to be transparent with no goals in life? I’m currently traveling the world, I need it so much, I can’t stay to one place more than 2 months.
4- What do you dream about?
I would love to paint a plane or a building, I have big dreams and want to achieve them.
Follow Lucas Beaufort on:
Facebook : Beaufort.lucas
Instagram : @lucas_beaufort
website : www.lucasbeaufort.com
Portrait by Francois Marclay