One Man’s Trash: Part II

Snowboard
Click to enlarge.

I’ve been trying to finish this piece for months.  I can’t even remember when I actually started it.  Finding time between commissions, teaching gigs, and life in general is tough, especially with a piece this size.  Every time I thought I was done, I’d step back and realize there were a million more places I wanted to add some line and some detail.

I got this snowboard from the dump.  Actually, my wife did.  It was literally in the garbage.  It’s pretty hammered I’ll admit, but still it strikes me as odd that someone would just put a snowboard in the trash the same way they’d discard a banana peel or an empty milk carton.  That’s exactly what I love about it though–the fact that this was headed for an anearobic grave where it would be packed among years of detritus in a landfill, only to be unearthed centuries from now with a “WTF” look by some intrepid explorer accustomed to a post-global warming apocalyptic world in which snow only exists above 20,000 feet.  But instead it now hangs on the wall of our utilitarian hovel here in Vermont.  That’s pretty rad.

In today’s throw-away culture, “canvases” like this are everywhere.  And they’re free.  Garbage as art.  Within the whole “reduce, reuse, recycle” sequence, I feel like reuse is the first one to get jettisoned.  We always want new stuff.  It’s human nature.

It took me about 30 minutes to prep this board with some 80 grit sandpaper, then 20 minutes or so with 22o grit.  Finally I primed it and it was good to go.  The element of salvation makes me appreciate a piece like this on a deeper level.  It’s no longer just an artistic musing put to paper, it’s a salvaged piece of history.  I think about how many people touched this board, the hands that helped actually construct it, package it, and ship it.  Who owned it, who rode it, who tuned it?  Was it ever stolen?  Did it ever fall off the roof of the car?  Neglected in a garage for years?  Who knows.  This board has untold stories that are hidden beneath the paint and ink and clear coat. And that’s why I like it.

Title: Factory Farmer.  Medium: Acrylic, India ink, pen and ink on old snowboard. Available for sale–contact for pricing.

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