New York is known for a lot of things, but near the top of that long list is its art scene. It has been one of the major epicenters of art ever since the early 1900s and has been the birthplace of many important art movements over the last few decades.
Arguably, the so-called “street art movement,” born from the rise of hip-hop and graffiti in the city, was one of the last great things to come out of the New York art world.
One of the biggest movers and shakers of that era was Jeffrey Deitch, who had risen to prominence by curating successful art shows all across the world.
He, alongside Cheryl Dunn and Julia Chiang, curated the show “Session The Bowl,” which was one of the earliest experiments that brought skateboarding into a fine art gallery setting.
It was a simple concept: Bring this floating bowl (dubbed “Free Basin“) into his art gallery, market it as a sculpture and performance art piece, and invite local skaters and artists out for a night of skating, drinking, and mingling. The bowl and skating itself were meant to be the centerpieces, but the experience was maybe most memorable for bringing together a mix of “high” and “low” personalities in the middle of the downtown art world.
If the bowl looks familiar, that’s because later on, Supreme founder James Jebbia commissioned the bowl’s designers (SIMPARCH) to build a similar one for his Los Angeles store, after Deitch had offered to sell him the original. Obviously, Jebbia did what any street-smart person would do and cut out the middleman, and the rest is history.
If you want to learn more about the experience, check out the interview above and hear all about it from the people that made it all happen.
January 4, 2023 1:43 pm
They had one of those come through SF in early 2000’s, There was a “street art” photography outside, Ed Templeton stuff and a picture of Terry Richardson with his big swinging dick flapping about. The bowl was fun.
January 4, 2023 2:01 pm
important to note that it was SIMPARCH, a group of sculptors and artists, who designed and built the Free Basin in Chicago in summer 2000, which opened up the Hyde Park Art Center to skaters for the duration of the show. The same group then made updated and refined versions of the bowls for Deitch, Beautiful Losers in SF, a full pipe in the UK, and all the bowls that are in the Supreme stores.
January 4, 2023 6:43 pm
yes you’re right, thanks for the clarification.
January 4, 2023 7:37 pm
would have been sick if Deitch or anybody else had credited the artists and craftspeople responsible for the concept, design, construction and installation of the bowl. Admittedly, I am close with people involved, but these bowls are a real thing of beauty and an engineering nightmare. Would be very cool to see an article about or an interview with the actual artists someday.
January 4, 2023 4:49 pm
don’t know how you pulled this one off.
Up there with the Herzog interview.
Great job guys, excited to see what’s next.
January 9, 2023 12:47 am
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