24" x 18" - Limited Release - Signed Giclee Print on Breathing Color Elegance Watercolor Paper.
The inspiration for this piece came from my latest film project - an official collaboration with the Grateful Dead and Flagship Independent. Mammoth Mountain closed down a section of the ski area for me to make a film with Rob Machado, Kimmy Fasani, Jeremy Jones, Danny Davis, Michelle Parker, and myself shredding at night. I was able to design custom, limited-edition Grateful Dead gear, including Atomic Skis and a Dakine pack and gloves, artwork for a new Dead vinyl box set, and finally these art pieces all hand painted by fellow artist Skye Walker and myself, over photos that Peter Morning and Aaron Blatt shot during the film shoot.
“The Grateful Dead’s vibe are based on improvisation. I relate that to skiing, surfing, snowboarding, and art. You never ride the same line twice. You can have your toolbox of skillsets you’ve acquired over a lifetime, but you’ll never repeat the same thing. That’s the allure of the Dead—you’ll hear the same song, but they’ll never play it the same way twice.”
For Chris Benchetler of Mammoth Lakes, Ca., skiing has always held a close relation to art. The way he sees the mountain and uses his creativity to draw lines down a blank mountain canvas. In 08/09 Atomic Skis saw his creativity and offered him the opportunity to design his first pair of pro model skis—The Bent Chetler—now 12 years later he has been able to explore a whole new side of his career, one rooted in artistic creativity. Diving into creating the graphics for topsheets, painting large scale murals, smaller pieces and everything in between, plus a number of other signature items for various sponsors has taught him new mediums and skills to apply to his art work. Blending line drawings, spray paints, acrylics, oils, and digital painting.
“I don’t have a particular medium that I work in, however I think I’m most inspired with acrylic spray, brush, and paint pen—so I try to go that route with most of my graphics. Given the nature of design, I definitely still dabble with digital art as well. As the years have progressed, I’ve taught myself more and more about different mediums, including digital painting.”