Subterranean unearths creativity

While staring at Burton’s Ralph Steadman board “Easy Livin” at JDK Design’s “Subterranean Screwheads” exhibit, one cannot help but reminisce.  The hallucinogenic imagery of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” reptilia gamblers and my past fond experiences of ripping pow-pow in the backcountry of Vermont came to mind. From hosting the Subterranean Screwheads graphic show to boozing and skating the basement of JDK Designs during the Queen City Rail Jam after party, the exhibit celebrates Burton’s 2011 snowboard line by reuniting the boards with the pieces of art that spawned its creation.  The art visually displays the process of creating snowboard graphics from their conception, all the way to their final spot on sales floor.  “It allows you to view the stories behind the board to a level where you are connected to the board,” JDK’s Design Director Marin Horikawa said. The showcase is a celebratory appreciation of the efforts taken by designers, managers, riders and sale representatives through a simple arrangement of wall mounted boards and framed works of art.  Setting up an artistic emphasis on the deep human interactive connection between riders of the board and the creative diverse minds behind the global production.  According to Horikawa, there are many trials of convergence pertaining to art and design, due to different cultural tastes. “The funny thing is what Japan might say they love it, Europe might say no,” Horikawa said. “On the other hand, the U.S. might say okay.” “The audiences are totally different, which is the hardest part but yet also sparks the excitement from this process.” The exhibit had a variety of multi-genre influences from photographs, pinup girls and drawings. The “Bullet,” inspired by Kevin Cyr’s work of oil and silkscreen on panel, perfectly captures the opaque rusty, battered ionic symbol of the car in contemporary culture that Cyr captures through the beauty he finds in derelict and unkempt vehicles.  “The exhibit shines light on the artistic integrity and thought behind making the board … emphasizing the emotional connection and identity one would usually want with their board,” senior Leslie Merinoff said. Next to Ralph Steadman’s original piece “Dr Gonzo Mono” is the “Joy Stick.” It offers a unique take on Dave Kinsey multi-layered work, capturing some of the aesthetic colors and values from the artist’s original painting. The board offers raw emotions. Overall, the 2011 Burton Snowboard line is an awesome experiment in converging the medium of art and design.