We Honor the PALACE Universe, and Their Wool Cap That Keeps Us Warm

palace-skateboards-palace-finger-up-fold-up-beanie-black-p14077-31689_zoomLondon skate crew PALACE makes boards, hyped apparel, VHS skate vids, and parody broadcast journalism. Its aesthetic is a nonchalant hijinks reminiscent of 1990s skateboarding and against recent trends in slow-motion HD. Founded in 2006 as the Palace Wayward Boys Choir—a group of guys who lived in the same shit-hole apartment in Waterloo, South Bank, which they ironically called the Palace—the team is perhaps the chicest rebuttal against the commercialization of skateboarding. “It started because there was a lack of interesting things in skateboarding,” says Lev Tanju, who founded the company. “I thought there was something more that could be done—that was a bit fresher and right for the times, and not run by some corporate people.”

Known for fucking with high fashion—having produced Tees with an inverted Chanel logo or a parody of Versace’s Medusa—Palace’s own graphic identity has by now become similarly iconic: the Penrose triangle, an impossible object made from three straight beams of a square that meet pairwise at right angles at the vertices of a triangle. Palace brand collaborations include Reebok and Umbro, and last December Tanju worked with Tate on a series of new decks designed after the English Romantic-era painter John Martin’s The Great Day of His Wrath (1851–53). For the project Tanju projected images of the painting onto a series of classical busts, using the resulting photographs as graphics. But Tanju isn’t worried about contaminating the brand with big exposure. “It would be kind of dumb to have a business but not want people to dig it,” he says. On one of Palace’s recurring graphics is the outline of a middle finger flipping the bird, a tongue-in-cheek punctuation to team’s success.

 

Deeper

  • “As soon as he saw me, he started talking about artists who had been bad fathers. He spoke with great ease, as if we were intimate friends who had discussed the topic many times. I smiled politely and nodded while feverishly trying to get my bearings. What was the connection? Was it because I had written about being a father? Did he himself have a bad conscience as a father? Or was there another reference I hadn’t picked up on? The whole situation was unclear. I wasn’t there to interview him, and we didn’t know each other — I wasn’t even sure if he knew who I was.”

    – Karl Ove Knausgaard, “Into the Black Forest With the Greatest Living Artist,” The New York Times.

    A meeting of two major (and masc) egos, the neurotic Norwegian novelist Knausgaard devotes months — and a hefty word count — trying to understand what makes Anselm Kiefer tick. Tautology and transference ensue.