Javier Mendizabal has found the balance and harmony in two of his favorite things: skateboarding and art. He uses the juxtaposition of urban and natural environments to bring his work to life. His art is inspired by nature’s forms, shapes, space, and colors, and he finds that he uses that outlook in his skateboarding as well. To celebrate the launch of our collaboration with Javier, we asked him a few questions about his background and relationship with art.
SLOWTIDE: Where are you from?
JAVIER MENDIZABAL: I come from Leioa, a small town near Bilbao, in the basque country, north of Spain.
S: When/how did you get into art?
JM: I got into art through skateboarding. I started skating when I was 12 years old. But it was when I turned 16 that I started hanging out with older skaters who were playing music, taking photos, and painting. So I started first taking photos and then doing collages and a bit of painting. I met Thomas Campbell through Fernando Elvira at that time...both of them were a huge influence on me. It has been in the last 7 years, since I moved to France, that I got a studio and got into the daily routine of painting.
S: What inspires you?
JM: Nature is definitely my main inspiration, its colors and shapes... but also human bodies and how both connect. I also find a lot of inspiration in my friends...people that admire how they are, how they live.
S: Has skateboarding influenced your art?
JM: Yes…I think so. The way I understand skateboarding and the way I skate has something to say about the way I look at shapes and space...so even my paintings have this natural vibe...somehow skateboarding is in there too.
S: Any advice to up and coming artists?
JM: MY only advice is to get loose...to try new stuff, to fuck it up and enjoy the process.