Can you recall the first time that you heard about Mark?
BD – A long time ago, when I was first interested in skateboarding, I remember he had some short interview in a French BMX and skateboard mag. He had come to Paris for this vert contest or demo, in this huge arena. Even if the 80’s were almost over, the mood was still there!When was the first time that you met Mark and why?
BD
– I try to remember a definitive moment, but I can’t be 100% positive. It must have been when I was crashing at Aaron Rose’s apartment, downtown NYC. Alleged Gallery was closed, but they had planned an exhibition in Aaron’s place, so Mark would show up with these newspapers and Calvin Klein posters and create collages out of them all day. He was super cool. I was so intimidated I only shot a couple photos at the opening night, but never during the making of all this art. I was so shy, and he had such a strong presence.What is your funniest moment with Mark?
BD
– I remember once pushing with Mark toward Street Machine skate shop, just getting from point A to point B in Paris. I did a simple no-comply, or something basic, to which he replied: “Oh, you want to do tricks!?” and he started pointing at various obstacles on our path, and stating what trick he was going to do. That was pretty funny!

Has Mark had any kind on influence on how you work, skate or live?
BD
– I was actually thinking about it the other night. I believe the main influence he’s had on me is how he has always just been himself all along. Skateboarders love to think of themselves as free spirits and open-minded, but we have had so so many rules over the years! Mark would always show up and do something completely out of those boundaries, not even trying to be different, but just because he felt like it. Whenever someone tries to lecture me or anyone around me about music, clothing, skateboard tricks or anything, I can only think about Mark and laugh! “Man, you have completely missed the point, haven’t you!?”

What is your favourite photo of Mark that you have taken and why?

BD – I would say the Circle Board colour one with the sun rise shining on his face. It’s a bit of a “perfect moment”, and it was not at all staged. We were done shooting the performance he wanted to document, and started to skating back home. He was just cruising along on the Circle Board (that thing is just not skatable!), anyway, I kind of “saw” that photo coming, changed to a colour film, and caught up with him to snap one or two frames. That was it. So, yes, this one makes me grin!

 

Where in the world have you been with Mark? Which was your favourite trip and why?
BD
– We have never really been on trips or even spent long periods of time together. It was always a day, a couple hours, here and there, really. Around Paris and New York, mainly, then a few days around Lyon and Marseille, when he lived in France a long time ago. But, you don’t need to travel long distance to enter another world with Mark! Give him ten minutes, and you’ll be inside the cigar boutique you never knew existed in your neighbourhood…

How does it feel to be involved in this event celebrating such an iconic skateboarder?
BD
– I’m sure everybody involved is really proud to be associated with such a great initiative! Mark has been such an influence to all of us in so many ways, plus all the photographers involved are amazing at what they do. To be frank, I feel a bit out of my league, here, but I’ll take it!
Your relationship with Gonz goes back years and you have worked together on numerous occasions.

The most recent project was the Circle Board. How did the collaboration come about?
BD
– That was the beauty of it: it happened very quickly and naturally, even if the book only happened two years after. Mark wanted to film this Circle Board session in front of the Eiffel Tower for an exhibition at Franklin Parrasch gallery in NYC. He called me to film it. I declined, as that’s not what I do, but organized for someone to do it. I tagged along to shoot photos, off course. The whole thing lasted less than an hour, exactly how Mark likes it: quick and spontaneous!

Then a year or so after, Joseph Allen Shea saw the whole bulk of photos from that morning and got excited about publishing it as a book. So excited that we contacted Mark to draw over the photos. We were lucky as he had time, and more importantly, was excited about the idea. This time again, it went down really quick, and Mark’s work was amazing. I feel so blessed that we did this book.

If this has wet your appetite for some Gonz action, then adidas are taking the retrospective exhibition ’15 years of Gonz’ around the world, with a Sydney event taking place 2 – 4 August 2013. To mark the anniversary, adidas has brought together six photographers who have been part of the Gonz journey including Gabe Morford, Joe Brook, Skin Phillips, Brian Gaberman, Benjamin Deberdt and Sem Rubio. The photographers tell Mark’s story through their lenses along with Eric Noren, Dan Wolfe, and Torsten Frank, who share their Gonz moments in the Retrospective film: ’15 Years of Gonz and adidas’ – hope to see you there!
WHAT: 15 years of Gonz and adidas exhibition
WHEN: August 2 – 4, 2013; 1pm- 6pm
COST: Free
WHERE: Old Paramount Building: 55 Brisbane Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010