MARK GONZALES - The Independents

MARK GONZALES - The Independents

 Mark Gonzales - (GONZ) -  Titled " The Independents" Ink on paper Show Postcard.

Size measures 6"x 8.

Mark Gonzales (born June 1, 1969), also known as "The Gonz", is a professional skateboarder and artist. He is known in the skateboarding world as the pioneer of street skateboarding, currently skateboarding's most popular form.

Gonzales arrived on the skateboarding scene at age 15 with a more modern approach to street skating and made the cover of Thrasher Magazine's November 1984 issue, riding a board from Alva, with which he was sponsored at the time. He was soon to be picked up for sponsorship by a new company with big ideas,called Vision Skateboards. In 1986, the first major gap was cleared with Gonzales's ollie at Embarcadero in San Francisco(see Thrasher, September '86). So historical was this incident for skateboarding, it became forever known as the "Gonz Gap" and helped make Embarcadero a popular location for skateboarders.  Also in 1986, Gonzales, together with Natas Kaupas, was the first person to skate handrails, thus cementing his contribution to street skating's early to intermediate stages. He became one of the first people to skate switch stance in 1987. 

Gonzales went on to further influence skateboarding as it modernized with the 1991 video Video Days, by Blind skateboards (a skateboard company he created around 1989). The name Blind was an intentional slight to his old sponsor, Vision. And in 1993, Gonzales was the first to kickflip his namesake, the Gonz Gap at Embaracadero.

Gonzales has also established a parallel career as an artist, having shown at the Alleged Gallery in New York and various galleries worldwide. He recently had an exhibit featuring collaborative works with Christian Hosoi at The Journal gallery in New York City. He also designs the 'Gonzo Cuntry' clothing line available in Japan and t-shirts for UARM. Some of his fans include Donald Trump and Sean Combs, both of whom have collections of his artwork. 

He has been in a few movies, including Harmony Korine's cult film Gummo, where he wrestles a chair.

He has published a book called Broken Poems and in 2006 he was awarded the Legend Award by Transworld Skateboarding[2].

In 2007 he published a skateboarding video called Gnar Gnar that was shot with an old VHS camcorder and was limited to only 1000 VHS copies[3].

Most recently, Mark Gonzales was also featured in the music video, "West Coast" by Jason Schwartzman's (Rushmore's Max Fischer) band, Coconut Records. This was a skate video sequence originally filmed in 1998 at a German Museum, but was edited and synced for this music video with his permission.

He is also a published author, artist, and poet and has published several books including social problems, high tech poetry, broken dreams and broken poems.

Today he is sponsored by: Krooked Skateboarding (a company he runs), Spitfire Wheels, Independent Truck Company, Fourstar Clothing, and Adidas skate shoes.


About the Artist

Mark Gonzales