May 19, 2011 by Matt DeAngelis
VC Johnson is the genius behind the graphics that propelled Powell·Peralta into the stratosphere. His iconic images have inspired countless others to not only draw, but in some cases, to begin skating in the first place.
An enigmatic figure, he disappeared off of the radar for almost 20 years until starting to work with Pocket Pistols a few years ago, and now back in his rightful place, Powell·Peralta. MD: So how did skateboard graphics fit into a journey of self exploration?
VCJ: They answered to the needs of the soul that chose the body. The soul that inherited, that grabbed the baton in my early 30s had a very different mandate and how it affected the life is fascinating. I can see this in other souls who’ve come to profound turning points in their lives and I’ve shared notes with those souls who have experienced a transformation at the core of being.
I come back to the company interested in a different order and what I see going on now is literally…
Jean Henri Gaston Giraud was a Frenchcomics artist, working in the French tradition of bandes dessinées. Giraud earned worldwide fame, predominantly under the pseudonymMœbius, and to a lesser extent Gir (used for the Blueberry series), the latter appearing mostly in the form of a boxed signature at the bottom of the artist's paintings. Esteemed by Federico Fellini, Stan Lee and Hayao Miyazaki among others, he received international acclaim. He has been described as the most influential bandes dessinées artist after Hergé. His most famous works include the series Blueberry, created with writer Jean-Michel Charlier, featuring one of the first anti-heroes in Western comics. Under the pseudonym Moebius he created a wide range of science fiction and fantasy comics in a highly imaginative and surreal almost abstract style, the most famous of which are Arzach, the Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius, and The Incal. Blueberry was adapted for the screen in 2004 by French director Jan Kounen.…
Working in collaboration with the conservation and collections departments of The Prado Museum, Madrid, The Louvre, Paris and The National Gallery, London, the artist scanned X-ray, infrared and ultra-violet renditions of Old Master paintings – including works by Uccello, van Dyck, Rubens, Delacroix, Goya and Velazquez amongst others. Monochromatic and energetic, the resulting photographs possess a graphic power strangely suggestive of the New York School artists, or a Gerhard Richter abstract.
The title of the new series, LEAD, refers to the presence of the metal in 17th and 18th century paint. This is what the X-rays show, bouncing back off lead pigments and transforming the paintings from recognisable images into otherworldly scenes, as if the viewer is given access to a separate reality below the surface paint. Guijarro has taken a scientific process used to demystify the paintings, and in doing so made them more unknowable, blurring the divisions between science and art.