2017. Artist Proof
24” x 18” (61 x 46cm)
Screen-print on cream Speckleton paper
Signed and marked AP in pencil
“I learned about Jeff Ho probably in the same way many skaters who came up in the 80’s did… I found out that key skate industry players like Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta were skaters on Jeff’s Zephyr team. A decade later some of Jeff’s team riders were flourishing, but as some things happen, the creative upstarts who pioneer a movement are often ahead of the curve and don’t reap the financial benefits or recognition that should come when culture finally catches up to the movement. I was very happy to see a bit of Jeff’s story told in the “Dogtown and Z-Boys” documentary and in Glen E. Friedman and Craig Stecyk’s “DogTown: The Legend of Z-Boys” book. I met Jeff at one of the Dogtown book signings in 2002, and he was nice, but reserved. I was honored to see Jeff at a few of my art shows over the years, but I had a bit of trouble reading him because he’s contemplative, subdued, and even a little intimidating. When Glen E. Friedman asked about doing a print of Jeff Ho, I was concerned that Jeff might not approve of me illustrating him, but Glen can be very persuasive, so I guess he convinced Jeff the collaboration was a good idea. I always enjoy working with Glen because he is very intense and passionate about his beliefs. It is completely fitting that Glen has a book called “The Idealist” because that is what he is. Glen had a few great shots of Jeff Ho from 2011, but there was one that to me captured not just Jeff, but the entire essence of surf/skate style. The photograph of Jeff in profile skateboarding down the sidewalk carrying his surfboard while the light breaks diagonally could be silhouetted to create an instantly recognizable and universal surf/skate icon. However, the fact that the subject is the pioneer Jeff Ho makes the image not merely iconic in an aesthetic, superficial sense, but iconic in a historical and truly authentic sense. In illustrating the image, I tried to amplify the lines, shadows, and textures that give the image its amazing character.
It is an honor to work with Glen and Jeff, two pioneers in the cultures that have made me who I am as a person. Thanks for what you’ve cultivated guys!” – Shepard Fairey