OHWOW is proud to announce the release of STOOPZ by Ari Marcopoulos. STOOPZ chronicles New York's fledgling skateboard scene from the early 90s. These photographs document the charismatic individuals composing this specific group of skaters and the urban locations they frequented. The work poignantly captures the mood of the time, and its pioneers, just as this now legendary skate movement began to take form.
In 1979, Ari Marcopoulos relocated from his native city of Amsterdam to New York. Fueled with enthusiasm and optimism, he quickly immersed himself in the downtown art scene, which eventually landed him assistantships with Andy Warhol and Irving Penn. During his early New York years, he shot intimate portraits of many vanguard personalities, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dennis Hopper, and Keith Haring. Later, his interest in the City's surfacing hip-hop genre prompted him to document its music, fashion, and assertive attitude.
Marcopoulos' penchant for connecting with emerging subcultures drew him to the developing skateboard movement active in New York City during the early 90s. Black and white photographs and Polaroids from this influential period, as well as a series of large scale photocopied images, capture the youth and defiance indicative of the era. Candid photography, some close-up portraits and others full-frame city scenes, objectively translate the reality of this peripheral lifestyle, while they also manage to soften the otherwise deviant personas associated with the skate world. For three decades Marcopoulos acted as much as a cultural anthropologist as he has an artist. With STOOPZ, he offers a window through which a view of back alley behavior and teenage angst is possible to glimpse from the lens of an outsider with unrestricted access.