The word “movement” as a verb and noun runs a common thread with the beats, skaters, surfers and punks alike. Skater-artist-producer/engineer-musician Tim Kerr, from the legendary 1980s Austin punk band Big Boys, is exhibiting at Antisocial Skate Shop this November. This thread runs, like a series of dots marked out on roadmap. What connects it all? “DIY connects it all. DIY started all of these movements before they got tagged with names, uniforms and a set of dos and don’ts,” says Kerr. Beat writer Jack Kerouac’s original version of On the Road was typed on a continuous roll of teletype paper.
“I got the image of Kerouac typing on a big roll of paper, so I had a thought about painting on a roll of paper and going around a room with it. This seemed like a good place to try that. If someone likes a piece on the roll when the show is over, that section gets cut out for them. It’s mostly a series of pieces on the roll but sometimes things start interconnecting. I really like to fill spaces up so I will be bringing other things to go around the room as well, which will include books and originals. I sign everything ‘your name here’ as a sort of call to anyone looking to see who did the art. The idea being that you too can and should be doing some sort of self-expression…. ‘The Your Town, Any Town’ is a take on the old Dogtown skates. I have friends that would change the logo to say ‘Your Town’ instead of ‘Dog Town’. Once a skater, always a skater,” explains Kerr with a smile in his tone.
The paintings have primitive and freeform quality and are significant as they reveal a snapshot of the subject and social statement. “I paint what I paint because of the realization that we all influence people and most times have no idea. Someone could see the shoes you have on and really like them, then go out and buy a pair for themselves and you just influenced that person,” he exclaims. “When I started to get asked to show art again I decided that I really wanted to try and be a positive influence. I started painting people that had influenced me by their actions, words, music, etc. If someone wanted me to do a painting for them, my first question was/is ‘who influenced you?’ By doing this, I also learned about that person asking, and many times the person they wanted me to paint.”
The philosophy of the ‘self-expression movement’ ties in with the art practice. “DIY or Do It Yourself is just that… Do It Yourself. There will always be people that take it on themselves to do something creative in a way that THEY want to do something, and if people like it and become involved, you have yourself a community. I am humbled and proud of the good people [that] write about the bands I have been in, but the Big Boys played funk music because we liked it, not because we thought it might start something. Poison 13 is said to have been one of the bands that influenced/started Grunge. We were just playing blues and ‘60s garage music that we liked. Nobody here in Austin at the time liked what we were doing and that made it even more fun (big smile). The point is, walk your walk and if you are really lucky, you might just plant some seeds in others. Everyone I paint is living proof of that statement,” Kerr explains.
Tim Kerr’s “Your Town, Any Town: Visual Thoughts” exhibit opens Thursday November 1 at Antisocial Skateboard Shop (2337 Main Street).
By Tiina Liimu
Painting: Rosa by Tim Kerr