Capturing All the Details
“Everything I am is due to my family.”
I was recently asked by a dear friend of mine, “Do all skateboarders become artists? Or is it two concentric circles that intersect like a Venn diagram?” I have asked myself these same questions and pondered how skateboarding has cultivated so much creative talent both on and off the board. I believe it stems from childhood, when the mind is developing and skaters are looking at the world through the eyes of creation, as a skater and as an artist. The same theory holds true for Danny Gonzalez, a skateboarder who approached skateboarding like no other skater during his time on the board. His art allows us the ability to peer deeper into Danny’s ‘visions’ of how he interprets his surroundings.
Whether Danny Gonzalez is remembered primarily for his contribution to skateboarding or for art, the world is fortunate to have Danny’s presence in creating such beauty. And I ask you to remember these words by George Orwell, “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
Interview & Introduction by Theo Constantinou
“I’d like to say that people, people can change anything they want to; and that means everything in the world. Show me any country and there’ll be people in it. And it’s the people that make the country. People have got to stop pretending they’re not on the world. People are running about following their little tracks. I am one of them. But we’ve all gotta stop. Just stop following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything; this is something that I’m beginning to learn. People are out there doing bad things to each other; it’s because they’ve been dehumanized. It’s time to take that humanity back into the centre of the ring and follow that for a time. Greed… it ain’t going anywhere! They should have that on a big billboard across Times Square. Think on that. Without people you’re nothing.” This is a quote from Joe Strummer, do you believe that without people you are nothing?
In this quote he said “he was one of them”. I agree that one must break the mold to change his environment but like Joe Strummer, even he knew the world is ﬁlled with grey. Not everything is black and white.
The way you skate is completely unique, very much your own distinctive self-expression. Is this the same way you approach the art you make?
With art and skating I have been very blessed to achieve a unique approach in both forms. You can’t force these types of things. At best it can be a whimsical process but allowing one’s self to be open to catch these moments of clarity can be a feat in itself.
Edgar Degas was quoted saying, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Do you think that this is a true statement as an artist or just an interpretation of how one sees art?
I agree. Even if that’s not your intention, art will be seen differently by different people. That goes for any genre. Music, books, movies, etc…
On the piece you did of Chad Muska it says … “I want to be loved by one, liked by others and remembered forever.” Do you feel that you will be remembered forever and if so, for what will you be remembered ?
As long as skate boarding exists. I have to believe I will be remembered and be hopefully remembered for being a good skateboarder.
I had a conversation this morning with Todd Carmichael, co-founder and owner of La Colombe, we were talking about one single question about life & knowing oneself. Who are you? So I ask , who is Danny Gonzalez?
My Great Uncle was Roberto Clemente. My two cousins played pro-ball, my other uncle Edwin Clemente is famous for percussion. My mother, Zulma Clemente received a scholarship for track & ﬁeld. With that said, I am the product of a gifted family. Everything I am is due to my family.
David Bowie said, “Heathenism is a state of mind. You can take it that I’m referring to one who does not see his world. He has no mental light. He destroys almost unwittingly. He cannot feel any God’s presence in his life. He is the 21st century man.” What is your interpretation of today’s 21st century man?
We all are 21 century people and its unfair to use that title. If a child raised in the house of God is sent off to war and kills in the name of his government, he comes home and is praised by man but what will God say in the end? That is really the question. It’s easy to cast opinions to one side, it’s dismissible. What else would a rock and roller really say?. He writes songs and plays guitar.
I don’t want to take this out of context but I read somewhere that you were ‘shafted from the skateboarding history books,’ and I don’t know if you feel that that is true or not. But regardless of how ‘historians’ write history, what you created on a skateboard is history and that history is beautifully undeniable, so in the end those who know are true historians and will remember the truth. Thoughts?
Thrasher released a Wallenburg article explaining all the history that had taken place there. My name was not mentioned, that’s why I said they were trying to shaft me from the skateboarding history books. Rightly so, young kids read that article and perceived it as truth. Publications have the power to bend truth and they exercised it. You are correct though. No one forgets.
Special thanks to Ian at Jenkem Magazine
Danny, if life is truly a canvas and memories are paintings, then why do you think it is best to use a small brush?
To capture all the details, not let small moments in life pass you by.