“The life of a teenage skateboarder in rural Ontario requires a significant amount of innovation. Also usually a car, somebody’s parent’s tools, and as much scrap wood as you can get. Ramshackle compositions of found ply waxed up by old pillar candles became the icons of a dedicated posse of country skate junkies. This teenage folk art tradition is the foundation and inspiration behind my artistic practice.”
Wood Push Wood is a large-scale sculptural installation built in situ out of salvaged materials. Referencing DIY cultures, the construction process remains unmasked, materials bear markings of their origins, and the works are decorated with a paint job that points toward screen printing.
While architectural and sculptural, these pieces generate a certain expected reaction. Common questions shift from “Can I touch it?” to “Can I ride it?” The answer to both is an enthusiastic, “Yes!” The central loop and the accompanying ramps, crash pads, and bumps motivate public participation and enmesh the work in performance and situate it in the liminal space between public and private, inside(r) and outside(r),
The show itself is transient in nature. In July, the pieces will be dismantled, and redistributed, at once disposing of and prolonging the life of the exhibition.
Steven deBruyn is an artist living and working in London, Ontario, Canada. His main artistic output consists of large-scale installation art. Usually his work is focused around the culture and esthetics of skateboarding. As a 30-something Canadian, he takes into account his rural upbringing and lack of actual skill on the board itself. He also enjoys the traditional skater ethos of building things for free from whatever is available. He has also been known to create bookworks, paintings, collages and zines. He frequently collaborates with others. He prefers to exhibit in artist run centers and institutional galleries. He is currently working on a series of solo shows across Canada.