Deck the Walls

Empire Gallery owner Justin McCroy is hosting the group show LVSK8 V, opening his doors to more than 70 skateboard decks, each covered in a different artistic vision. The contributing artists are mostly local tattooists who deviated from their usual medium. Decks start at $100, which is cheaper than most tattoos. Here are five highlights.

“Untitled” by Jesse Squints. A surveillance camera extends from the board, while on the board itself is a monkey that says “Quick, Steal That One.” The perfect blend of humor and street attitude.

“Bandaid” by Jeff Macintosh. Every skateboarder could use a Band-Aid once in a while. Blood leaks from behind the oversize Band-Aid, suggesting this guy might need more than just this one.

“Misinformation” by Keith McCoy. Don’t be mislead by the title. The board is screaming a powerful message through the words “vote” and “revolution” plastered over various newspaper clippings. A vase is mounted to the board to hold bright red flowers, a light way to lure people into taking a closer look.

“Untitled” by Courtney Blanchard. Classic, romantic, black-and-white drawing of a man and woman frozen just before their lips lock. Just looking at it gets your heart beating faster in anticipation of their kiss.

“Untitled” by Jughead. Vibrant hues of blues come together to create an adorable little rag doll with a curvy frame attached to her. Don’t lose yourself in the girl’s body: Instead notice the lightly detailed hearts shaded with bright reds and yellows that eventually fade into dark.

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Director Michel Leclerc and his co-writer Baya Kasmi illuminate the ethnic, racial and religious issues that have beset France from World War II to the present—through, surprisingly, the unfolding of a classic romantic comedy plot. Le Nom des Gens (The Names of Love) is so inspired and insightful that it is frequently hilarious yet does not shy away from tragedy. Leclerc and Kasmi’s ability to explore complex, volatile social issues with such exuberant humor won them a César (France’s Oscar) for Best Original Writing this year.

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