An exclusive peek inside Jason Dill’s enthralling photo archive

In the late 1990s, skaters Jason Dill start taking pictures. Lots of them. He carries around a disposable camera and occasionally points and shoots everywhere he goes, documenting his life in film as many people do with smartphones these days. “It was just what you did,” he recalled recently. If you don’t, he says, those moments before appearing on social media are lost forever.

And Dill’s life has provided a series of particularly colorful moments to capture, even by the standards of a reckless and prolific professional skateboarder. A powerful phenom from Huntington Beach, Dill landed in New York in 1998, where he quickly established himself as one of the city’s most exciting and stylish young skaters. (His the end on the 2000 Alien Conference video “Photosynthesis” is a long-standing classic.) At the time, skateboarding was changing from a cult pursuit largely centered around fights. competition into an exciting global icon transitioning into a changing fashion world. Dill, who started wearing Helmut Lang and APC when most skaters still favored giant shorts and monster truck-sized sneakers, is at the center of it all. Skating took him to destinations as far away as Paris, Tokyo and Johannesburg, often for months at a time. Back in NYC, he joined with the supreme figure skating team, and also rolled with IRAK, Legendary graffiti crew now including era-defining artists like Dash Snow. He quickly became deeply embedded in the explosive party scene of downtown New York. “That’s what I really enjoy — getting close and being friends with people who don’t skateboard at all,” he says. “We were all very alive at the time.”

Jason Dill’s new monograph book cover.

The hedonism of the post-9/11 decade almost took Dill down, but when he returned to Los Angeles in 2011, he skated again — and turned his fledgling clothing brand, Fucking Awesome, into a Official ice skating company. Now, Dill is something of an industry giant. Over the past decade, he’s broken down some of the skating world’s coolest and more promising young talent, like Sean Pablo, Na-Kel Smithand Tyshawn Jonesand made the Fucking Awesome outfit the brand every streetwear kid wants to be jailed for wearing to school.

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