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05/07/2021

The First Collaboration with Artist James Rosenquist

The Story

Pop-art masterpiece F-111, flies flag for social impact on skateboards

The sinister contradictions of 1960s America, as imagined by a pop-art master, find a fresh form in our first collaboration with the James Rosenquist Foundation. 

Painted during 1964-65 – in the middle of one of America’s most turbulent decades – F-111’s depiction of a ‘fighter bomber flying through the flak of consumer society’ is quite simply a pop-art masterpiece. It captured the contradictions of an era. A time of stark juxtaposition – the Vietnam War, rampant consumerism and the hay-day of advertising. 

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“At resorts in Utah they used to advertise: “Come and watch an atomic bomb test,” as if it were a show. People would sit under beach umbrellas with their iced drinks and watch these mushroom clouds in the desert….” – James Rosenquist, on F-111 

James Rosenquist (November 29, 1933–March 31, 2017) became well known in the 1960s as a leading American Pop artist, alongside contemporaries Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Claes Oldenburg. F-111 is one of history’s pop-art masterpieces. 

“[…] larger-than-life images of angel food cake, tinned spaghetti, a Firestone tire, a beach umbrella, lightbulbs, a hair dryer, and a radiant little girl—all overlaid with hallucinatory realism onto ominous images of an atomic mushroom cloud and a depth charge[…]” – James Rosenquist, on F-111. 

The luridly colorful symbols of postmodern America are splashed along the side of an F-111 fighter plane with the words U.S. Air Force painted on its fuselage. This new collection focuses on it aspects of the full piece, part of MoMA’s collection, and includes four numbered and limited editions of 100: F-111 Triptych A (Girl), F-111 Solo A (Tire), F-111 Solo B (Air Force) and F-111 Triptych B (Atom).

Today, F-111 flies the flag for social change, this new collection contributing to The Skateroom’s annual pledge of $100,000 towards Skateistan, an award-winning non-profit organization which empowers children through skateboarding and education in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. 

“We are excited to collaborate with The Skateroom to benefit Skateistan and the James Rosenquist Foundation,” says Mimi Thompson Rosenquist. ”Jim felt strongly about supporting artists, children’s health and educational opportunity, and would be thrilled to see his images on skateboards that support building new schools and providing recreational activities to children in need.”

The Skateroom will launch this collaboration with the James Rosenquist Foundation with a new collection unveiling at the MoMA Design Store in SoHo, New York on July 7th, 2021. The store, which previously hosted the successful Raymond Pettibon pop-up, will be getting the F-111 makeover – displaying the four limited editions, the Pettibon collection and limited quantities of other editions from The Skateroom.

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