DOGTOWN, the Z-Boys, and Powell-Peralta's Bones Brigade can suck it—the New York City skate scene has just as much history as the Southern California scene, but without the glamour of sponsorship and silky cement skateparks.
Full Bleed: New York City Skateboard Photography, a new photo book from Vice, tells the story of New York City's unique skate scene, which has been evolving for the past 30 years. Instead of words, the story is told with photos from more than 60 photographers including Spike Jonze, Thomas Campbell, and Ed Templeton.
These images capture the raw creativity at the heart of skating, the inventive reactions to the ever-changing urban landscape. In contrast to the smooth pool walls and skateparks that are typically featured on the West Coast, these artists work within the limits of the East Coast's urban decay. It's pretty inspiring to see skaters riding on ugly public art, catching air from ramps made of toppled road barricades, and grinding lumpy cement rubble piles with skillful attitude.
Although each new page brings a refreshing glimpse into the lifestyle and art of NYC's skating and skate photography, there is a pretty basic design flaw. If you try to use the index to find the photos Spike Jonze shot, you'll learn that they are on pages 299 and 300, but then you'll notice the book doesn't have any page numbers. Dumb. But otherwise, Full Bleed confirms the assumption that NYC skating is a middle finger pointing into frontiers the West has yet to discover.