We were psyched to talk to a very creative mind for issue 10 of KrakMag. Richard Hart is the great SF based photographer who put together the insane work behind Push Periodical. He teamed up with VX master Zach Chamberlain to produce the Bright Moments video which we included in the SF-Tokyo KrakBox. Discover a bit more about Richard below. k.
Where are you from initially?
I’m from a little village in England. It’s quiet, there are horses hanging about.
When did you move in SF?
About a century ago.
Because of skateboarding. SF was definitely the place to be, if you skated in the mid-90’s.
Are you happy in this city now? Do you plan to stay there?
I’ve never intended to stay here, to be honest, but somehow it happened; and there are much worse places to accidentally end up.
We could totally feel from the outside that SF really inspires you and your work. Could you tell us what’s so special about this city?
There is a creative energy here, if you can tap into it. Historically, SF has always been full of artists and writers and weirdos and hippies and punks and skaters and so on. Nowadays it’s a bit different, but the energy is still there somewhere. And visually SF has a lot of character too.
I also feel that there is an old SF and a new one. I mean this city was probably the epicenter of the whole community back in the 90’s but that changed, right? Like in the early 2000 probably? Can you feel the difference yourself? What happened in fact?
Yes, I lived through all of that I suppose. The 90’s were a vibrant time with lots of people moving here. This had a lot to do with ‘A Visual Sound’ and the first FTC video and EMB (then Pier 7). Then in the 00’s, it became such a bust and a lot of the spots got knobbed, so it all died down and people moved away. Then there seemed to be a bit of a lull (or maybe it was just that I wasn’t too involved in skating for a bit). But now there’s a whole new generation of skaters here, and a lot going on again.
When I think about the SF city center now, I also have in mind all the insane skate-stoppers for instance (like the ones we see on the banks in front of the US District Court Clerk on Golden Gate Av.) but that being said, the skate community there seems to be more active than ever, what’s happening? Are those policies boosting your creativity and motivation?
The scene is thriving again; I think it has to do with being forced to skate more creatively. Not skating the ‘spots’ (mostly gone), but finding the cutty stuff. It’s harder work but more rewarding, and that stuff looks better anyway.
After all, would you still encourage skaters to come to SF? Despite the rise of the costs of living, the policies, the tech companies HQs and so on?
Skaters should always try and visit SF. The character of the place may be changing, and the rent prices getting crazy, but SF will always have the hills.
What should be the first few stops/things to do for a skater who lands there? Any must-skate spot in the city where everyone starts the day?
To warm up/meet up, go to the Island (by Embarcadero) or the Waller ledges (by the park) or the newish Duboce skatepark. Then it’s all about cruising around. Maybe head to the Avenues in the daytime and Downtown at night. Also, everyone should go to Fort Miley once.
You’ve been working with Zach Chamberlain on something special lately, right? Could you tell us more about it?
Zach and I just did a cool project together – the Push Partial World Tour, which took us to Paris, Bristol and Budapest. We had Chris Jones, Taylor Nawrocki, Connor Kammerer and Glen Fox with us. So the next mag (PP6) will be devoted to that trip, and we’ve just finished an edit of the footage which will be online when the mag comes out. I’m stoked on both.
Any more plans for the end of the year?
I’m about to go and meet the Traffic team in Chicago. Hopefully Zach and I will figure out another interesting excursion soon too.
What could we wish you?
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Same to you.
Cover image: Matt Field, kickflip. Photo: Richard Hart