MEDIUM: Photograph

Unfortunately, almost any art can become snob art but street photography has a way of naturally resisting that trend; like this shot of a skateboarder in Hamilton's Central neighbourhood. Wine and cheese art collectors who deliberately look for images and sculpture with "snob-appeal" are not likely to clutch and claw after a picture with this subject. This is not kitsch but it's definitely fine art for the everyman.

This is not your typical photograph of a high-flying skateboarder. I love those but too many of them causes a loss of the urban photography potential that they all automatically have. This skateboarder image is unique for the genre. The skater wasn't doing some neat trick, he was simply heading my way on King St. West. I was intrigued by the honesty and commonness of the moment, quickly composed and made the shot as he passed me by.

No, I did not name this piece after Avril Lavign's song "Sk8r Boi". By coincidence, Avril certainly is Canadian but she’s not from Hamilton. This image actually reminds me far more of lyrics in the song "Anchorage" where singer Michelle Shocked's "old friend" asks, "What's it like to be a skateboard punk rocker?" and then says, "Leroy says send a picture." "Anchorage" has always been my most favourite song by Michelle Shocked, and even though the skater depicted in my photograph is not from New York City, I think of this image as the one that Michelle might have sent to her "old friend" and Leroy.

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Return to Steeltown Neighbourhoods Gallery

Return to the Central Photo Essay of the Steeltown Neighbourhoods Gallery

To Hamilton City Gallery and Photo Essay

God's Messenger

Sidewalk Prayer

Holding On to Love

Showin' 'Em How It's Done


Blue Collar


Keeping Our Distances

Reading On

George Street


Have a Nice Day

Contact Allan Hamilton