Skateboard legends and Love + Guts founders Lance Mountain and Pat Ngoho

why art and creativity matter in skateboarding, now more than ever

Lance Mountain flying through the deep end. Photo: MRZ

Lance Mountain and Pat Ngoho and other collaborators have been curating gallery shows featuring artwork by some of skateboarding’s originators since 2005, and are now in their second year of partnership with Dew Tour.

Lester Kasai fast plant in the deep. Photo: MRZ

This year they’ve turned two shipping containers on site into pop-up gallery spaces, featuring work by six artists, including their own paintings and artwork by Christian Hosoi and Kris Markovich, alongside early skate photography by 2018 Skateboarding Hall of Fame inductee Brad Bowman and William Sharp, who worked as staff photographer for Skateboard World magazine from 1975-1980.

Christian Hosoi arm stee on point through this front 50 carve. Photo: MRZ

Love + Guts will also host a “Super Session” Park Jam on Sunday, part of a  VIP Father’s Day Sunday Special offer that includes brunch, a Dew Tour skate deck, and access to skate the Dew Tour courses in a private session with Mountain, Ngoho, Hosoi, Mike McGill, Lester Kasai, Tom Inouye, and Omar Hassan, among others.

Pat Ngoho taking a 5-0 scrape to the top of the Mountain Dew can extension. Photo: MRZ

We caught up with Lance Mountain and Pat Ngoho as they were hanging art on Thursday, for a brief chat on the importance of emphasizing the art of skateboarding at this historic moment as the Dew Tour now doubles as an official qualifier event for the skateboarding’s Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Omar Hussan getting his licks in with a 5-0 to fakie in the deep. Photo: MRZ

For starters, what is “Love + Guts” and what’s it all about?

Come by Dew Tour on the Green to see Pat Ngoho art on display. Photo: MRZ

Pat Ngoho:

“We’ve always felt that skateboarding is an expressive thing, and putting the first Love + Guts show together back in 2005 helped us dig into what was really going on with the artistic side of skateboarding so we kept it going. In my opinion, skateboarding is its own art form. It’s performance art, it’s its own thing. And the reason why it’s rad is because you can just do whatever you want. Another thing that makes it cool is when you see people take skateboarding and change it, and be changed by it, and express themselves through it, and it carries through into their art and other parts of their lives. To me that’s the strongest and most powerful thing about it: that spirit of creativity. So we wanted to honor it. And so much of that spirit of creativity came out of those early generations of skaters, so we wanted to honor that history, too.”

Rock star group: Pat Ngoho, Lance Mountain, and Christian Hosoi. Photo: Donez

What’s special about this project to you personally?

Lance Mountain tastefully hanging his artwork. Photo: Donez

Lance Mountain:

“To me Love + Guts is about a group of skaters who were involved in skateboarding at a time that will never happen again, and that group of skaters formed and molded the idea that skateboarding was more than just sport. Probably out of necessity. Almost all of them had some sort of art or aesthetic they were into and were involved in creating images or graphics or they had to find places to skate, they had to take places to skate and repurpose them, or had to build places to skate. It was a very early time when everything was developing, everything was being invented for the first time, and it will just never happen quite like that again. So those skaters are very important to me, and a lot of them are gone now. That initial point where these first skaters took this toy and started developing it in creative ways, started turning it into an art form: that moment in time is very special to me.”

Be sure to make a visit to Dew Tour on the Green for a chance to get an autograph from legendary skateboarders like Lance Mountain. Photo: MRX

It feels like a fun contrast here, with all these young skaters at an event that is  being hyped as an Olympic qualifier event and very focused on competition, to also be advancing art and artistry and that history you’re talking about, at the same event.

Lester Kasai, left and Pat ngoho, right. Photo MRZ

Lance Mountain:

“That’s why we’re doing it here, and that’s why we’re very excited to be allowed to do it here this year especially. Skateboarding is always going to advance. I was part of the advancement, skaters after me were part of the advancement, these young skaters here at Dew Tour are part of the advancement, the Olympics will be part of the advancement. But as it advances, and the more people start being spectators of skateboarding rather than participants, the less people know and feel what it is outside of a spectated event and outside of a performance-based competition. It feels like an important moment to remember and celebrate the core of it, which is creativity.”

Fans grabbed whatever they could get their hands on for an autograph. Photo: MRZ

Pat Ngoho: 

“With the Olympics coming on, and all the new contests coming together around that, there’s so much focus on performance and competition now. Hopefully the creative side of skateboarding doesn’t get lost in that mix. I don’t think it will – I actually think skateboarding is in a really healthy, creative place right now – but that’s the flag we’re waving. What I hope everyone will see in the contests this week and in the Olympics and everything else ahead is that the best skateboarder isn’t the one who can come and do tricks better than everybody else who can do the same tricks. The best skateboarder is the one who can come and do something nobody has ever done before, or in a way that nobody else has ever thought of doing it.”

Get to the Love and Guts booth at Dew Tour on the Green early enough to get yourself a star-studded autographed poster. Photo: MRX

There are kids as young as 10 years old competing here this week, and more young skaters than we’ve ever had at Dew Tour. As we speak, kids are starting to pour into the fan zones to check everything out. What do you hope any 10 year-old coming in to look at the Love + Guts art galleries or coming to see the session on Sunday takes away from it?

Christan Hosoi eyeing up his masterpieces. Photo: Donez

Pat Ngoho:

“We’ve all been skating together since we were like 10 years old, or early teenagers, so we’ve all grown up together. And now here we are, some of us in our 50s, still enjoying rolling around and being a part of all this. More than anything else I hope it inspires them to be creative and make some friends for life through skateboarding, like we have.”

More group legend photos: Pat Ngoho, Lance Mountain and Kris Markovich. Photo: Donez

Lance Mountain:

“I want that 10 year-old to come away realizing skateboarding is his. Skateboarding is hers. That it belongs to them. It’s not what our bunch of old guys say it is, or what some judges say it is, or what anybody else says it is. It’s what you make of it when you take this fun toy out and start to figure out new ways of being yourself on it. We’ll teach you some old tricks, you show us some new tricks. I want that 10 year-old to go out and make art and have fun and make up something entirely new and come back and surprise us all with it. I like being surprised like that, and skateboarding surprises me all the time.”

Kris Markovich putting on the finishing touches on a few pieces. Photo: Dones

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