Russ Pope & Neil Blender
Baggage Claim

Opening Reception | Saturday, April 5, 2014 : 6-9pm
Special Musical GuestCyril Mountain

Show runs April 5 – April 27, 2014

Link to press release

Link to show catalog

Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow is proud to announce a landmark exhibition, the first ever two-man show from renowned artists Russ Pope and Neil Blender. On view April 5 through 27, 2014, this will be the first time this well-known duo will show art together in California.

Viewers taking part in this exclusive and rare exhibition will get to see two of skateboarding’s most influential artists side-by-side, with their the seedy characters, loose, conservative lines and social themes. “Baggage Claim” explores social concepts in the two artists’ complementary character-based themes and color palettes – which Pope says will come across as “darker” to those familiar with his work.

Pope and Blender conceived “Baggage Claim” together. Pope explains:  “It’s claiming your baggage, claiming all your life’s baggage. Usually the content of the things I’m working on are social commentary, things that happen in my life, like daily diaries, or what’s happening in my environment that I’m reporting on. Making art and sharing it with people it is exposing yourself and putting yourself in a vulnerable position – politics, thoughts, even colors. Laying baggage out for all to see.”

“Baggage Claim” opens Saturday April 5th, 6 – 9pm with support from Pizza Port Brewing and Vans, along with a special DJ appearance by Lance Cyril Mountain.

About the Artists:

Russ Pope

Russ Pope earned “Orange County’s Best Visual Artist in 2010.”  His artistic career started as youngster and has recently culminated with large installation shows in NYC.  He has lectured for Pratt and Parsons schools and worked with non-profits in Los Angeles to bring art to inner city underprivileged children.  Russ’s commitment to skateboarding has spanned many decades, including involvement at Creature, Scarecrow, Black Label, Fallen and Vans.  Russ’s art has taken him to faraway places and rekindled his roots.  He has shown his work both domestically and internationally in San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, New York, Brooklyn, Miami, Austin,Washington DC, Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, Vancouver, Whistler, Hawaii, Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and Japan.

Neil Blender

Neil Blender is one of the most influential skateboarders of his time. In the early 1980’s, before the skateboarding industry boom, he stood apart because of his artistic ability, individuality, and raw talent. He has become an icon that many current skateboarders have aspired to emulate, but have been unable to match. He set many standards that skateboarders still adhere to today. An originator of many skateboarding tricks, another lasting contribution was infusing art into the world of skateboarding – Neil was one of the first skateboarders to make his own skate graphics, setting the bar high for all skate companies and riders to follow. He is involved in all different types of art, photography, painting and music. Neil is a private person, but he is a hero for being true to skateboarding, and true to himself.