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Haroshi’s Recycled Skateboard Deck Sculptures


We first posted the work of Haroshi back in 2010 but we couldn’t resist giving you an update of this artists incredible sculptures created out of used skateboard decks. His creations are born through styles such as wooden mosaic, dots, and pixels; where each element, either cut out in different shapes or kept in their original form, are connected in different styles, and shaven into the form of the final art piece. Haroshi became infatuated with skateboarding in his early teens, and is still a passionate skater at present. He knows thoroughly all the parts of the skateboard deck, such as the shape, concave, truck, and wheels. He often feels attached to trucks with the shaft visible, goes around picking up and collecting broken skateboard parts, and feels reluctant to throw away crashed skateboards. It’s only natural that he began to make art pieces (i.e. recycling) by using skateboards. To Haroshi, his art pieces are equal to his skateboards, and that means they are his life itself. They’re his communication tool with both himself, and the outside world.

The most important style of Haroshi’s three-dimensional art piece is the wooden mosaic. In order to make a sculpture out of a thin skateboard deck, one must stack many layers. But skate decks are already processed products, and not flat like a piece of wood freshly cut out from a tree. Moreover, skateboards may seem like they’re all in the same shape, but actually, their structure varies according to the factory, brand, and popular skaters’ signature models. With his experience and almost crazy knowledge of skateboards, Haroshi is able to differentiate from thousands of used deck stocks, which deck fits with which when stacked. After the decks are chosen and stacked, they are cut, shaven, and polished with his favorite tools. By coincidence, this creative style of his is similar to the way traditional wooden Japanese Great Buddhas are built. 90% of Buddha statues in Japan are carved from wood, and built using the method of wooden mosaic; in order to save expense of materials, and also to minimize the weight of the statue. So this also goes hand in hand with Haroshi’s style of using skateboards as a means of recycling. Also, although one is not able to see from outside, there is a certain metal object that is buried inside his three-dimensional statue. The object is a broken skateboard part that was chosen from his collection of parts that became deteriorated and broke off from skateboards, or got damaged from a failed Big Make attempt. To Haroshi, to set this kind of metal part inside his art piece means to “give soul” to the statue. “Unkei,” a Japanese sculptor of Buddhas who was active in the 12th Century, whose works are most popular even today among the Japanese people; used to set a crystal ball called “Shin-Gachi-Rin (Heart Moon Circle)” in the position of the Buddha’s heart. This would become the soul of the statue. So the fact that Haroshi takes the same steps in his creation may be a natural reflection of his spirit and aesthetic as a Japanese.

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Marco Cuevas


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Emotional Images On Body Dysmorphia, Weight-Loss Surgery, And Self-Acceptance

weight-loss surgery weight-loss surgery

weight-loss surgery

For the artist Maria Raquel Cochez, her body is both her subject and medium; choosing to undergo and photograph 3 weight-loss surgery procedures, she catalogs a complex relationship with body image. For this series, titled “Life Performance,” and subsequent videos, paintings, and photographs, the artist courageously addresses the difficult ways in which women are expected to conform to physical ideals.

For “Life Performance,” Cochez relinquishes all control, surrendering both her body and her camera, leaving others to cut, transform, and document her as she undergoes a breast reconstruction and implant and gastric bypass. Each photograph poignantly blurs the line between performance and experience, boldly welcoming the public into a profoundly private emotional space.

Four years after “Life Performance,” Cochez presents “Belly,” a gorgeous video capturing the effects of surgery and life on her midsection. Seen floating in a full bathtub, her excess flesh is seen as touchingly soft yet powerful; isolated from the rest of her body, it seems to breathe independently, rising from the water and sinking back again. On the righthand side of the frame, a child plays with the female belly, innocently exploring the space that gave him life. He kneads it like bread, then strokes it carefully.

The work is painfully moving for the artist’s total surrender to her craft and audience; as viewers, we bear witness to her insides, to folds of her naked skin. For this reason, her impressive body of work seem less like an exploitation of the self than a miraculously intimate confessional. Despite their potentially painful content, her creations are strangely warm and generous; for example, in Life Performance No.1, romantic black and white images of her smiling face and her soft backside gently bookend the frighteningly colorful photographs of her surgery.

Ultimately, the work reads as a richly nuanced love letter to the human body, one to which all humans, regardless of experience, can relate. Take a look at Cochez’s paintings, videos, and photographs after the jump, including her uncomfortably, painfully seductive self-portraits of eating binges.

It is important to note that body dysmorphia—along with other mental- and eating-disorders—are much better covered by new healthcare legislature; especially with groundbreaking ACA regulations now taking effect. If you or a loved one are coping with such a disorder, please remember that there are options out there.

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Life Magazine Gives Us A Look Back At The Fashionable Teenagers Of The 1960’s

"Corona del Mar High School students Kim Robertson, Pat Auvenshine and Pam Pepin wear 'hippie' fashions, 1969."

“Corona del Mar High School students Kim Robertson, Pat Auvenshine and Pam Pepin wear ‘hippie’ fashions, 1969.”

"Southern California high school students, 1969."

“Southern California high school students, 1969.”

"High school teacher Sandy Brockman wears a bold print dress, 1969."

“High school teacher Sandy Brockman wears a bold print dress, 1969.”

"High school fashions, 1969."

“High school fashions, 1969.”

In fashion, what goes around comes around. What was stylish 20, 30, even more than 40 years ago can still make a comeback and look en vogue. LIFE magazine documented the 1969 trends of American youth culture, and many traces of them are still worn today.

Hippies and disco culture shaped the way people dressed themselves, and these fashions were considered “counter culture” at the time. Fringed vests, bell-bottom jeans, and miniskirts were part of the new trends and attitude towards expressing yourself through clothing. “The latest rule in girls’ high school fashion,” LIFE magazine wrote in 1969, “is that there isn’t any.”

While the same could be said today, these sartorial choices came from a much different place. The world was seeing a cultural transformation and just getting smaller with the growth of global telecommunication networks. The television become a thing in every household. Liv Combe of LIFE also explains, “The vast and near-visionary national highway system had spread across the country in the post-World War II years; more households than ever owned a car (or two); and for the first time, plane travel was becoming a viable option for many American families.

Denim jumpers, Peter Pan collars, and strappy sandals are all things popular back then which are still seen today. They might’ve seemed strange back then, but as with most things, counter culture eventually goes mainstream. With some of these photos, it might take you a moment to realize they aren’t from 2015. (Via Demilked and Time)

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Diederick Kraaijeveld’s Reclaimed Images

Exquisite relief sculptures by Diederick Kraaijeveld using discarded and reclaimed wood.

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Artist Interview: Jason Jagel


"Songs of Innocence and Experience / Never No Mo Blues"

Jason Jagel creates splendidly multi-sensorial works that evidence a beautiful sense of color, linework and a knack for cohesively organizing multitudinous pieces of imagery and open areas. Jagel recently contributed a lovely interview detailing his process, his approach to composition, inspiration, and much more.


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Michael Johansson’s Tetris Like Sculptures And Installations

Swedish artist Michael Johansson is the Tetris master of art. His brilliant assemblages of found objects such as books, luggage and other everyday materials into tight geometric shapes is absolutely brilliant. Filling empty spaces in buildings, between shipping containers and entrances, Johansson transforms voids into color coordinated shapes of wonder. (via)

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Swedish Fabric Design


When I visited Sweden, one of the things that first struck me was that everyone’s apartments, houses, and public spaces seemed beautifully designed, in this contemporary, bright, cheery and somewhat 50’s/60’s Mr. Men kind of way. There’s a vibe in the air that encourages a similar stlye of living- they do have the highest standard of living in the world. I completely fell in love with this sensibility, the bright and airy floral curtains, vibrant and playful placemats….making your space a joyful one. (Maybe ’cause it’s so cold in the winter.) Ahh, Sweden. Take the wallpaper above, inspired by “an idea to pattern a porcelain mug with crystal glasses and so make it fine for serving celebratory drinks.” Classic! No fuss, just simple, iconcally graphic depictions that encourage you to drink champagne from a mug- you can still live elegantly while avoiding pretension by trying something new! Move over IKEA- check out these lovely designs from the Scandinavian Design Center.

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