On Thursday night, an art auction at the Picture Farm Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, will celebrate the life and foundation of Andy Kessler, a skater, a surfer, and a spirit who died in 2009 but still lives on in the hearts of many. Skate legends Lance Mountain and Steve Olson, and photographer Glen E. Friedman have all donated artwork, as well as renown artists Swoon, Mark Dean Veca and many more.
Andy Kessler was born in Greece and grew up in Manhattan. He started skateboarding at age 10 around his Upper West Side neighborhood, eventually skating at the bandshell in Central Park and various shoveled-out pools in outer Brooklyn. He soon banded with other skaters to form the Soul Artists of Zoo York, a group with equal interests in skating, hip-hop and graffiti.
“Andy is an old friend of mine, and his spirit and energy are what started this Foundation,” said JJ Veronis, a board member of the Andy Kessler Foundation, which strives to provide community outreach to people in need through art, music, skateboarding and surfing.
Skateboarding, surfing and communal fortitude were all well understood by Kessler. He remained dedicated to skating through changing times and the disbandment of his team in the early '80s.
After quitting drugs with the help of Narcotics Anonymous, he worked with the New York City Parks Department to construct ramps in Riverside Park in Manhattan, and would then build more on Long Island. He also helped addicts get sober with the help of skating and surfing. In 2009, he died in Montauk, on Long Island, at age 48, after experiencing an allergic reaction to a wasp sting.
Kessler was a bright light to all who knew him. “He pursued making [skateboarding] something important in New York City,” Glen E. Friedman told The New York Times after Kessler's death.
Thursday's exhibition -- from 6-9 p.m. -- is comprised of sculpture, collage, painting and works on paper. All artwork is donated and all proceeds will go to the foundation.
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