Humble & Epic at Project Gallery
reviewed by Julie Faith
Sometimes I hear about a show and think, “Great concept, but do I really wanna drive all the way into the city for this?” I really gotta stop doing that. Humble & Epic, presented by Ben Gregor, Knucklehead USA, and Hijinx at Project Gallery is one of those shows that resonates on so many levels. Born out of a painful break-up, a life-long love of skateboarding, and a desire to pay homage to those who inspired Gregor throughout his life, this show has immediate visual, emotional, and altruistic impact.
Gregor has laser etched 70 maple wood skateboards with the names of his closest friends, family, and heroes. In a direct reference to going pro and getting sponsored in skateboarding, he calls these people his Sponsors, “I got hold of some blanks through Shiner – who were awesome – and laser etched them all. Then wrote a little bit about each person to go with it. About how one friend punched me in the face one news year’s eve, or about how Jim Thiebaud once wrote to me telling me to keep writing when I asked him about a book he had published. People who shaped me, on purpose or by mistake.” Uniform placement of each board and it’s companion story would, at first glance, appear to blur the theme but, in fact, it emphasizes each individual’s unique contribution to Gregor’s life. Time slows as you begin to truly appreciate the craftsmanship of the decks and the cleverly written anecdotes awaken musings of those who may have sponsored you in your own history.
All proceeds from Humble & Epic will be donated to help benefit Skateistan and their work to empower youth in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa through Skateboarding and education. To donate and buy a board, go to this page.
Humble & Epic can (and should) be viewed at Project Gallery in Downtown LA’s Chinatown August 6-20, 2016.