When we first launched The Snowboarder’s Journal (frequency at the time), we were fortunate to have at the “Creative Dictator” position, my friend and comrade Ari Marcopoulos. For those who don’t know, Ari is an absolute creative juggernaut who emigrated to NYC in the early 80s and shortly thereafter found himself working at Andy Warhol’s second Factory, screenprinting some of the most famous works in American art history. As well, he was photographing the art, music and skateboarding scenes around him including such notables as Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest, Iggy Pop, Talking Heads, Jean Michael Basquiat and the list goes on. If it happened, Ari was there and he shot it.
Fast forward to the 90s and Burton had hired him to shoot Terje Haakonsen and others. Bringing the same street veritas style to the mountains and stadium jumps, Ari tore it up for the next several years, documenting snowboarding at its early cultural apex.
Eventually, the city was calling again and he returned to NYC to shoot, teach courses, produce filmwork and show his art all over the world with his ally and Parisian gallery owner Frank Elbaz.
Although we live different lives now, occasionally creative endeavors bring us together at least digitally. But most importantly he has remained a good friend and I look forward to his hearing his loud and distinctive laugh and giving him a huge man-hug in the future. Until then, join with me in appreciating Ari’s latest work, including a found Super 8 film twenty years old. He is one NYC’s greatest living artists and we at The Snowboarder’s Journal are blessed to have had him on our team. And even if he is now a big time art head, he’ll always be our OG Creative Dictator. Keep killing it, Aristos.