Frontside Wallride [p] CMART
For the people who don’t know, why are you J “the man” R ?
: Well, there definitely is a story behind the nick name and it stems from my first sponsor, Primo Desiderio, he gave me Vision boards and Vision Streetwear, and we did demos at Southern California elementary schools. He also did a thing called Team Primo that also featured two top Vision factory riders that you may have heard of… (They are only two of the biggest names in skateboarding! Matt Hensley & Danny Way). Anyhow, he made flyers for the demos we used to do that said featuring John “The Man” Reeves, hahaha! Which is pretty weird considering I was only like 13 years old… I guess Primo called me “the man” first because he is kind of a small short dude and second because I was a bit bigger than him and skated bigger too, like a man. Ha! Then when Mike Ternasky put me on H-street and they made my part for the Hokus Pokus video, Tony Magnusson introduced me as “The Man,” John Reeves. At first I always felt weird about it, like people really thought that I take the nick name really seriously, but anyone who knows me knows that I don’t. Now I just see the nick name as a thing to set me apart from the seemingly endless sea of talented skateboarders.
CMART: Where are you from?
JTMR: San Diego. 1904 to the world! The Mecca, Manila Mesa, The BLVD. Of MM. Mira Mesa.
CMART: What is your overall impression of step dads?
JTMR: Step Dad’s rule! They do all of the things that real dads don’t want to.
CMART: Who’s your favorite skater? Or person you skate with…
JTMR: I’d have to say Mark Gonzales to this question and I have been fortunate enough to skate with him a couple of times. He just always has a good time! When I started it was Gonz, Natas Kaupas, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero, Julian Stranger, Christian Hosoi, Steve Caballero and guys like Eric Dressen, Jesse Martinez and other Venice Beach dudes pushing street skating to a level that I wanted to be at. All of those guys influenced the skating in videos like Hokus Pokus and the Life Video “A Soldier’s Story.” As for now I just like to skate with anybody who genuinely loves it and wants to skateboard.
CMART: What do you like to do outside of skateboarding?
JTMR: I sing, play guitar, write lyrics and poems.
I also draw, paint, and even cook. But I also watch a lot of TV and movies, I could cut back on that, but it is inspiring and educational because you can learn so much from other peoples stories. I have a book of poetry out now called “Open Through the Mindflow…” published in San Diego by a small independent
publisher called Shookup Publishing, and I’m working on my second book it is going to be called “Save Manhattan for Another Day.” I want to get more serious about my singer-songwriter stuff.
CMART: How would you describe your art?
JTMR: My art is all pieces of me. I guess a lot of it is sort of veiled self portraits inspired by words and life experiences. Writings, lyrics, singing and poetry too… I view it all as art.
CMART: Describe your favorite piece of art you have made.
JTMR: I dunno that’s a hard one, I am never really good at picking favorites… But I can tell you that my favorite punctuation mark is the ellipsis and that I’m working on a project called ARSSIA right now. A.R.S.S.I.A is an acronym that I made up that means, “Artists Ride Skateboards Skateboarding Is Art.” So that is my favorite right now.
CMART: Your book is rad, could you tell me a little about it?
JTMR: Thanks! “Open Through The Mindflow…” is a collection of poetry, lyrics, drawings, paintings, and short stories that I created over the last decade. It is a labor of love and self expression, it’s just stuff that I felt about life and living. It is words and art that I made while living in San Diego, Portland, and in Brooklyn and NYC. It is mostly spontaneous stuff that I doodled or wrote down on an envelope or on a post it note that I turned into real writings, drawings, or paintings. It also includes some of the lyrics that I wrote in High School while singing in bands.
CMART: Is everyone an artist?
JTMR: I believe that every human can be creative, I just think that most humans need to tap into their creativity if they haven’t done so yet.
CMART: If you didn’t do art what would you do?
JTMR: I’d be an explorer and go on international expeditions to rare remote places, Ha yeah! I might do that anyway.
CMART: Are you into collaborations? Have you done any?
JTMR: Yeah sure I’m down to collaborate, but the only collaborations I’ve really done are the two board series’ with Oscar from Bodega Skateboards. We’ve done two series’ of skateboard decks where he picks a movie then I draw after I watch the movie and he hand silkscreens my drawings on the decks and I pick the color ways. The first one we did was the “Dead Man” series which is a Jim Jarmusch / Johnny Depp film. The second one we did is the “Naked Lunch” series which is William S. Burroughs / David Cronenburg film. Those boards are out now.
CMART: Have you had many shows?
JTMR: No I’ve only had a few. I was in two different group shows when I lived in Portland, Or. and I most recently had a show at NBKC the North Brooklyn Collective in Bushwick. I’m down to do more shows and I want to do some really big paintings someday.
CMART: Where can people see it?
JTMR: If someone wanted to see some of my work right now they’d have to go online. They could see some stuff on jtmr.tumblr.com or on instagram @johnthemanreeves #jtmart and @arsssia . I also like to do these little videos I like to call poemovies and you can see some of those on YouTube.com/solocreator
CMART: Do you believe in Santa?
JTMR: Never did never will. But I do believe that people can play the role of Santa just by being generous and giving to others and it wouldn’t even have to be on X-mas, HaHA!
CMART: If you could put a piece of your art permanently forever, where would it be?
JTMR: Space! Deep down into the core of the middle of the Earth? On top of Mt. Everest? Kilimanjaro? Under the sea with the little mermaid? I dunno. All I know is that I would like to be able to share my stuff with everybody!