The most interesting man in skateboarding talks about eating cats at night, skating his son through Soho on a makeshift throne, and a period of excessive spending in Japan.

The most interesting man in skateboarding talks about eating cats at night, skating his son through Soho on a makeshift throne, and a period of excessive spending in Japan.

Mark Gonzales is not media trained. If you’re lucky enough to pin the iconic skateboarder and artist down for an interview the chances are you’re going to get more than the usual forced exchange.

Eating cats, excessive spending and new skate inventions are par for the course with Gonz and he does not disappoint Monster Children in this new video they have released.

Here are some of our favourite bits.

His Ceramics Teacher Made Him Want To Do Art
Behind every unconventional artist is usually a great art teacher – they’re basically school therapists disguised in tie-dye and oversized jewellery and Gonz’s hippie ceramics teacher, who wore butterfly glasses with a purple fade, is no such exception. All hail the Georgia O’Keefe-loving free souls trapped in the education system.

He Didn’t Graduate Junior High
Perhaps unsurprisingly Gonz did not exactly tow the line at school. He admits that he had a disciplinary problem – wanting to make fun of the teacher, cause trouble, and ‘flick things’. In fact, he admits, he didn’t even make it through to graduation; an arbitrary institution of achievement that cannot account for the lively ones.

Stacy Peralta gave him Catcher In The Rye
Apparently, Stacy Peralta (who Gonz says he doesn’t like that much, lol) recommended Catcher In The Rye to him when he was travelling a lot with Blind but it was only after he’d walked from that company and moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey, that he read the classic coming-of-ager. He said he was twenty-four or twenty-five and it was ‘bitchin!’ because he could go into New York and be at all the same places Caulfield had been at.

His iPad Is His New Canvas
When Gonz hopped off the 55 bus from Soho and into our lives in November 2012 – a chance encounter that resulted in an art show and cover story – he was experimenting with video art in the form of lo-fi YouTube videos featuring art-making, strange skating and his then-girlfriend Alexandra. Now, he tells MC, he’s hooked on digital doodling with apps like iPad Doodle and Doodle Buddy letting him have a lot of fun with a ‘spraybrush’. He also mentioned he’s making a series of ‘banana shanks’ – fruity weapons whereby a blade is concealed in the tip of a banana. “They’re not real,” he says, “but the concept is real.”

He Compares Skating To Martial Arts
As the video wraps up Gonz recalls time spent in Japan and his interest in martial arts. He points out that skaters and martial artists have similar centres of gravity and balance – an insight, perhaps, into the kind of thought process that gives rise to his unorthodox skate style.