On February 19th, Jonathan LeVine Gallery opened Still Pushing Despite The Odds, a new solo by Haroshi (featured) at their location on West 23rd Street. Consisting of mostly large scale works, this is his third show with the showspace in Chelsea, and is a great demonstration of his unique skills and inventiveness.
The Tokyo-based artist’s signature technique of creating incredible sculptural works using old skateboards has evolved so much from his initial concepts with this new body of work being great example of his current concepts. By compressing the boards in different ways, Haroshi is able to create a base material with different textures, which he molds into his final pieces. With a witty use of colorful plywood layers, he achieves a painterly effect (muscle lines on horse legs in Still Pushing Despite the Odds pieces) or pattern (Build and Destroy letter installation). From their initial notion to their final outlook, the Japanese artist’s work shows an exquisite level of craftsmanship and execution. With a great feel for visual effects, such as the straight red lines in the Car Crash piece, his works can be appreciated on a technical as well as conceptual level. Always striving to add new life to old, battered skateboards, he keeps finding new ways to give them purpose while leaving them recognizable. This is noticeable through his intentional incorporation of board cracks in some pieces, or even more, the use of worn out nose ends in the Nosepick series.
The exhibition, whose title refers to a new life for the used boards that were destined to head to the garbage and to obscurity, will stay on view through March 21st.
Discuss Haroshi here.