American Skateboarders

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Published October 15, 2010

Ever since he visited the ancient temples in Teotihuacan, Mexico, in 2003, photographer Arthur Tress has made a point of documenting his own set of monuments, particularly the ones that stretch across the California landscape: cement-poured, often architect-designed skate parks. The 70-year-old Tress previously worked as an ethnographic photographer, and in the images collected in his new book Skate Park (Birch Books, due out in November), he likewise studies this motley band in intimate portraits. “It’s a sport they invented for themselves,” says the photographer. “Most tribal cultures allow for a rite of passage, but American culture by and large does not do that. Here, they can act out these rituals of flying and falling and bleeding.” More info at birchbooks.com