Martin Schoeller (born 1968)
Archival pigment print, 1999 (printed 2010)
Martin Schoeller’s photograph of Tony Hawk pictures the skateboarder in the kitchen of his California home in 1999, the year in which he landed the first-ever “900” (two-and-a-half revolutions) in competition. A virtuoso skateboarder known as the “Birdman,” Hawk is one part Michael Jordan and one part Evel Knievel. His tricks on the board are known for their creativity and daring. Having won his first competition at age eleven and turned professional at fourteen, he is the person most responsible for transforming an “outlaw” recreational pursuit into a global sporting phenomenon. While his street style has made him an icon of youth rebellion, he has been equally successful as an entrepreneur, launching his own line of sports equipment and a popular video game series. Other so-called extreme sports such as BMX biking and snowboarding owe much to Hawk’s achievements as a skater.