I have these skateboards that I made two years ago. Many people have seen in their homes, in my home, on the internet, and hanging in a couple art shows. But that's just it...people have seen them. Rarely do I willingly, or get the opportunity to speak about work. There is a thought process behind the manifestation of these decks, allowing them to be more than just graphics.
Rotten to the Core started with a project I did as a senior in college. Long story short, on that project was a graphic of a banana. The response to the banana was so positive, I opted to go bigger with the banana, turning it into something for me to play with later on.
As I played with the idea of the banana, my mind started to wander, and I dreamed of a deeper exploration of the fruit. "What if I had a hatch of spiders pouring out of the banana peel?" Eureka! I had my plan—discuss the the relationships of fruit and insects/arachnids. Each fruit is paired with a bug that can be associated with it in some fashion. Each skateboard is hand-painted with acrylic paint on a California maple.
The first deck completed in the series is titled, aXc, or Apple Core. Pairing the apple with a series of cockroaches came to me easily. When I was younger, my seventh grade science fair project was to raise crickets in a tank, with their food source being apples. Then for almost two years I worked in a natural history museum in the education department. In that department we had a tank of cockroaches. Aside from lettuce and potatoes, the roaches were fed apples. I wouldn't recommend leaving any sliced apples out in your home to find out if this is true.
The second completed deck was wXc, or Watermelon Core. The name doesn't make much sense, but it doesn't have to. I have artistic liscense. wXc is by far my favorite of the bunch. What fruit would come to one's mind when thinking of a picnic? Watermelon perhaps? What else comes to mind when thinking of a a picnic? How about the invasive ants? The explanation behind the watermelon, as well as the next board, are rather simple compared to that of the apple and the closer.
I struggled briefly with pXc, or Peach Core (peaches have pits, not cores), not with the style of execution, but rather, what do I couple the peach with? Worms and maggots—while creepy and fascinating—are not insects. I eventually considered the state of Georgia and how it's known for peaches. I also thought about the Southern United States and how people complain that there are too many bugs in the summertime. One of the main offenders to which people seem to be bothered by is the fly. When any kind of food is left out, flies will rear their ugly faces, eating and vomiting in the same sitting.
Finally, what started it all, but also brought it to a close is bXc, or Banana Core. While I was working with the banana, I got to thinking about agricultural exportation and importation between the United States and South American countries. Sometimes in the freight comes unwanted surprises, such as harmful snakes, spiders, and other insects unnatural to our region. It's not always as easy as discovering these offenders in the crates while receiving the shipments. From what I've come to understand, it tends to be more about snakes and spiders laying their eggs inside the produce before it is gathered and sent elsewhere. Can you imagine peeling a banana and being greeted by a brood of creepy, crawly spiders? I can, but I wouldn't want to.