Against the Grain:

Skate Culture and the Camera

7—22 July 2018
15 Bateman Street, Soho, W1D 3AQ
Tuesday—Sunday, 12—7pm


J. Grant Brittain
Dobie Campbell
Glen E. Friedman
Atiba Jefferson
Spike Jonze
Sam Muller
Mike O’Meally
Skin Phillips
C. R. Stecyk III
Wig Worland
Tobin Yelland


Steve Douglas (411VM)
Graham Fletcher-Cook
Spike Jonze
Winstan Whitter

Against the Grain: Skate Culture and the Camera is an exhibition that celebrates the phenomena of skateboarding, with the photographers and filmmakers who documented the movement. Despite the subculture’s influence and resonance in almost every aspect of popular culture, this emblem of freedom and rebellion has been largely ignored as an artistic form.

Brought together for the first time, this historical review highlights behind the scene glimpses and cultural shifts associated with skateboarding. Pioneering figures skating Southern California pools and schoolyard banks of the 1970’s are portrayed, as well as devious manipulations of urban architecture shaping new chapters of skateboarding’s evolution.

The photographers featured are known for circulating imagery from within an active community, and have taken countless risks in uncontrollable, and at times reckless or controversial environments. Often dismissed for solely capturing the decisive moment or ‘peak action trick’, this wide ranging genre of photography has expanded to many documentary and artistic styles and continues to exist through its own decree. The exhibition focuses on content falling outside the commonly held frame, and offers a number of lenses through which to view its many histories.

Archival material from SkateBoarder, Thrasher, Transworld, R.a.D (Read and Destroy), Sidewalk, 411 Video Magazine and other publications features media that was essential to circulating information about skateboarding and contributed to the international force it is today.

Curated and produced by Jaime Marie Davis and Frankie Shea.


Sam Muller, Untitled (Chris Maalouf, Montreal), 2015
Glen E. Friedman, Rodney Mullen and Minor Threat, c.1982
J. Grant Brittain, Bones Brigade, Chin Ramp, 1986
Skin Phillips, Grandma Thrasher, 1984
Spike Jonze, Natas Kaupas, 1990
Mike O’Meally, Palace Skateboard Team, Tottenham Hale, 2016
Sam Muller, Mike, Vince, Rick, c.2015