Golden State Skater Days

Contemporary artist and activist Shepard Fairey emerged from the iconic California skateboarding scene in the 80’s to becoming one of the world’s most renowned contemporary artists.

A few months ago, Fairey posted these photos on his Instagram taken by his longtime friend, Art Director – a now Cali Mag contributing editor – Greg Jensen, fondly reminiscing about his days at the Idyllwild Arts Academy and skating with Skateboarding icons during the golden era of shredding.

Vintage photos of Shepard Fairey in Idyllwild CA, 1987, courtesy of Greg Jensen.

“These two pictures were taken of me in the fall of 1987 in Idyllwild, CA by my friend Greg Jensen (@greggjensen1969). I was a senior in high school doing a year of art boarding school. Idyllwild is a small town but the one skate shop Tony Alva (@thetonyalva1957) himself was there along with Dave Duncan (@doubleddunc), (@EddieReategui), John Thomas, and Jef Hartsel (@art_is_tree).

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The Alva guys were ripping so I was doing my best to hold my own with some Ollies and airs off the jump ramps. A couple of nice details are my Powell Peralta @tonyhawk deck, my home made Bad Brains tee shirt, Thrasher stickers on both my shoe and my truck, Indie sticker on my shoe, and the hardcore band SNFU’s logo drawn on my shoe. I printed these photos along with others of the Alva demo to send to my friend (and current art assistant) Jason Filipow (@p1brand) for his skate ‘zine Streetscribe. He found them 35 years later. I remember I made a 45 min tape that was a blow by blow of all the tricks from the Alva demo to send to Jason along with the pics. Skateboarding was all-consuming in my life and shaped my outlook in very important ways. I’m grateful to skateboarding and to still be friends with Greg and Jason.

–Shepard”

Artist Shepard Fairey with longtime friend Greg Jensen.
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