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A tour of Paris with Atiba Jefferson and Vans

Earlier this week, It’s Nice That sat with Atiba over a Moroccan wrap and lingering hangovers in the Marais district. Looking back at the highlights of skateboarders’ careers to date, we discussed the sport’s natural tendency to disrupt and rejuvenate creativity, not to mention its historical connection to art, design, fashion and culture. “Skating never changes,” he says. “It will always be pure. That’s the beauty of it. Regardless of the sound behind it, it’s just skateboarding and shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s indescribable. It’s like, how do you define love? You don’t just feel it; skating is just what you do.”

The exhibition, entitled Atiba Jefferson: Skate Photography, is presented by OTW by Vans and Architecture, the film and architecture firm founded by Virgil Abloh. The show brings to life the disruptive attitude of OTW by Vans and is an ode to skateboarding’s global impact on art and culture. For the show’s opening night, cultural tastemakers – including Dev Hynes, Aminé, Danielle Haim, Mami Tezuka and Anthony Van Engelen – flocked to the venue to celebrate more than 200 of Atiba’s best-known works. The exhibition spans the mid-nineties to the present and features mid-action portraits of talents such as Tony Hawk, Rowan Zorilla, Tyshawn Jones, Beatrice Domond and Elissa Steamer, to name a few. In addition to the large-scale photographs capturing some of skateboarding’s most famous (and infamous) moments, the exhibition also includes never-before-seen cut sheets, slides, negatives, video content, and objects from Atiba’s personal archive. “There’s a point-and-shoot camera that I used in high school,” Atiba says. “There is a light box in the basement and a loop that allows the viewer to look at photos. This show is great because it is so interactive.”