Posts tagged ‘faith’

January 9, 2015

A hand for a grip

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Grips are the superheroes of the film industry. They are real life MacGyvers and without them, no film could ever be properly made. They work 12-18 hour days and almost always come home bruised and battered. They rarely complain. Work pays well for union grips, and not quite as well for indy grips. Unless you’re on a regular series or in the union, there can be dry spells. Dry spells that last too long become droughts and no one thrives in a drought. Grips are the kind of people you want on your team. They can handle anything, solve any problem and they always step up to help. This particular grip is in a drought. That drought was recently complicated by identity theft. I’m reaching out to you in order to help him until the next rainfall. Please consider donating. For the price of lunch, your generosity will reverberate through the cosmos. Click HERE to donate. Thank you.

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August 20, 2014

Jay Adams 1961-2014

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100 Percent Skateboarder (forever)

Last week, while doing my morning social media rounds,  I noticed a photo posted on  Facebook by actor and punk singer Brandon Cruz of himself with legendary skater Jay Adams. I didn’t think twice.  Adams has been on my friends list for years and tends to either post or get tagged in photos on a regular basis. Soon enough, though, I found out it wasn’t a normal day. At least not on Facebook, not in Southern California, probably not in Hawaii and definitely not in skating circles.  Adams had passed away from a heart attack. He was only 53.

Only 53. The same age as my mom when she died. The same age I will be in two years. The older you get, the more death you encounter. The more death you encounter, the more you tend to think about your own mortality.

In 2002, I wrote an article for VCReporter about some discord among the ranks involved with Stacy Peralta’s documentary film Dogtown and Z-Boys.  It was a complicated situation involving big money, old wounds and differing opinions.  I had exclusive access, and three days to get it to press.

Intense as it was,  the story remains a career highlight for me. Of all the people I spoke with at length (I imagine I logged at least 20 hours of interview time), Jay Adams was by far my favorite. He was working at Black Flys  in Hawaii, , and had to periodically put me on hold to help customers. What struck me most about him was his authenticity which was immediately noticeable. He really didn’t want to talk to me, but he knew his input was important. He was probably the only one who DIDN’T have an agenda.  His humility and candor were refreshing. There was no bullshit with him. No ulterior motive.

I was not a stranger to skating culture and had spent a good amount of time with some of the old school pioneers, most notably Tony Alva (after the story published and went viral, Thrasher magazine incorrectly referred to me as an “Alva confidante”), but for some reason I’d never met Jay, so it was especially exciting to have a chance to speak to the enigmatic, notorious and baddest of the Dogtown bad boys. For all his woes, his battles with drugs, time spent in prison, broken relationships, etc., there was an innocence about  him. He was a good man dealing with the consequences of bad decisions and hard living. He didn’t have the best start in life, but he became a champion and a hero—on and off the pavement, in and out of the water.

I can’t claim to have really known Jay Adams, yet I miss him. He was a one in a million man in a world that needs a new kind of math. But, for all the tragedy he endured (and some that he undoubtedly caused), his death is not tragic. Granted, he was relatively young, but life was really, really good. He was sober, he was strong in his faith, he was deeply in love with his wife, solid with his kids and riding the best waves of his entire life in Mexico. It’s all any of us can hope for in the end.

Nearly a week later, stories, condolences, photos and memories continue to flood his Facebook page, and when I see the updates in my feed, it seems like he’s still here posting messages of hope and candid pics of his lovely wife. Then I remember.

There might not ever be another Jay Adams, but there is plenty of room for more champions and heroes.

To quote the many who knew and loved him: “Rip in peace, Jay boy.”

 

 

April 30, 2009

Luis Perez’s Retablo

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One of my favorite moments at last weekend’s Spring ArtWalk was hanging out at the new Vita-Art space with co-owner Luis Perez. Perez has a warmth and authenticity about him that made me not want to leave, which turned out well as my lingering allowed me to meet artist Wil Shephard who has a provocative, exhibit of 3-dimensional art made from found objects.

While perusing the gallery a particular painting caught my eye and Perez explained to me that it was a retablo that was made for him by a Mexican artist.  As it turns out, retablos are fairly rare (Perez has a personal collection in his home), made mainly in Latin America and devotional in nature–an aspect that resonates deeply with me.

Retablos are  expressions of gratitude for answered prayers.  They are very personal and few artists make them. Perez’s retablo (pictured) depicts an environment for teaching children to create art and includes an image of a saint that corresponds with the subject or event, a traditional practice for retablo painting.  The Vita-Art Center is a manifestation of Perez and his wife’s dream, for which they are of course grateful. This attitude is reflected in the retablo and throughout the gallery/learning space.

If you didn’t make it to ArtWalk (or even if you did) Vita-Art at the Bell Arts Factory will be open on Friday, May 1 for the First Friday gallery crawl, an event put on solely by local artists.

November 22, 2008

Holy art installation, Batman

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It seems someone got the idea to address issues of church and state using public art. I love when art collides with life in this way.

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