Original Z-Boy Nathan Pratt, then and now. Click on image for entire slideshow. Photograph by Shannon Cottrell.

In the 1970s it took a group of Venice-based visionary artists, surf and skateboard shapers, and passionate rag-tag kids to revolutionize skateboarding and launch the rebel skater lifestyle that we know today. At this point, I'd like to think that anyone who hasn't heard of Dogtown or the legendary Z-Boys must have spent the past 30 years living in some underground bunker, subsiding off canned peas and beef jerky, with nothing but a dusty AM radio to connect them to outside world and the ever-changing city of Los Angeles that pulses above.

It doesn't matter whether or not you lived in 1970s-era Venice or Santa Monica during Dogtown's heyday and witnessed skate and surf history with your own, saltwater-stung eyes. Damn, you didn't even have to be born yet. My point is that even if you have never heard of these guys, your life in L.A. has been changed by the Dogtown Z-Boy legacy of being one of the most important art and sport subculture revolutions to originate on the West Coast… ever.

So for those who might need a little refresher course, here's your chance. Nestled in the arts district of Downtown L.A. off Winston and Main streets, Crewest Gallery and The Label Lab are currently hosting “The Z-Boy Show – Direct from the Source,” featuring work from Dogtown skate art originators Skip Engblom, Craig Stecyk, Nathan Pratt, Chris Cahill, Allen Sarlo, Roger Doucette, Cris Dawson, Peggy Oki and more.

L.A. Weekly braved the crowds of the Downtown Art Walk on Thursday October 9th and stopped by the exhibit to check out the beautiful and historic collection of boards, photographs and paintings. View entire slideshow by clicking on image below.

Jay Adams skates Bicknell Hill, original photograph by C.R. Stecyk III.

“The Z-Boy Show – Direct from the Source” runs through November 2nd and there will be a closing party November 1st from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Crewest Gallery is located at 110 Winston (between 4th and 5th) in Downtown Los Angeles.

LA Weekly