Top Graphic: Elephant Buddha.
About The Art:
In 1987, after watching a television program about the plight of African Elephants, I decided that I wanted to have an African Elephant on what would be my first Pro Model Skateboard. Since then, the Elephant has become synonymous with me and with my skating. And as many times as the Elephant has been reused, reinterpreted and repurposed for the different seasons, stages and junctures of my skateboard career, I have never felt a soulful connection to any of the art like I did with the original art from 1988, that is until now.
I knew there was only one artist that I could turn to who could truly reinterpret the original graphic with great reverence, perceive the depth of the primary inspiration for the art, honor my ongoing relationship to the Elephant and yet create something new and meaningful now: Bigfoot.
The path to this art was not taken in haste. Like with the original art, there was great reluctance from the artist, but both times it has been met with my certainty and persistence. Even at 17, I knew that despite Powell Peralta’s insistence that a different artist should create my desired Elephant, that VCJ was the artist for the job, just as I knew Bigfoot was the artist for this job. And just like with the original VCJ art, the Bigfoot Elephant has taken a year to emerge from the forest of inspiration to the streets of revelation.
Having my friend and my favorite artist create this art for me, and for Street Plant, is something very meaningful to me. A dream come true. After all of these years, I couldn’t just have another artist create another Elephant image on one of my skateboards. It had to be, just like with the original, THE Elephant by THE Artist to fulfill THE Dream. Very few times in life do all of the pieces fall into place, but when they do, everything is as it should be. This art represents such a moment to me.
Bigfoot’s personal story is intertwined in this art as well. Growing up Skateboarding in the mid-late 80’s in Central New Jersey, discovering his own Sensitivity and Compassion for Animals, finding his way to California, Communicating his Love and Concern for and his desire to Protect the Earth, Nature and it’s Animals through the distinction and symbolism of drawing Bigfoot, is very much inline with the awareness and preservation concept of the original Elephant art. In 1987 I chose an Elephant to tell my story, in 1994 Bigfoot chose Bigfoot. These are Kindred Spirits, and this art sees Bigfoot and the Elephant morphed into one resplendent being staring into the future of Skateboarding: A symbol of Love and Strength.
This story by Mike V. From STREET PLANT site.