Jonathan Rentschler / 5W's!

Jon Rentschler aka. Euro Jon recently released "LOVE", a photo book with the intent of immortalizing the last few months prior to the unskatable remodelization of LOVE Park, the iconic plaza and historic skate spot in Philly - frequented throughout the ages by the likes of Ricky Oyola, Matt Reason, Stevie Williams or Josh Kalis, just to name some of the most obvious. Logically, timeline-wise, that project coincides with the time period around which Brian Panebianco was also crafting his own time capsule of the spot's destruction, just in video form, with "Sabotage 5"; but without further digression, let's let Jon himself talk, and invite us to his upcoming photo show in Tokyo, Japan, the opening of which is on this 18th of October, doors at seven P.M.!

LIVE Skateboard Media: What will you be showing in Tokyo - only LOVE Park photos, or more?

Jon Rentschler: The exhibition in Tokyo will display large format pigment prints of photographs from my book "LOVE", as well as hundreds of Xerox prints of unseen photographs from LOVE Park. To accompany the "LOVE" photographs, I will also exhibit hundreds of Xerox prints, both small and large format, of photographs shot after the plaza’s redevelopment in 2016, and a broad range of people and places I have come upon during my travels and my relocation to New York in 2018.

By showing this vast array of photographs, which include skaters, police, friends, fights, injuries, paraphernalia, outcasts, and so on, it demonstrates that my photographs can be viewed as one continuous body of work, in part from my very personal approach to documentary photography.

LSM: When did you decide you would document the so feral last months of LOVE Park?

Jon: Documenting of the final months of LOVE was very organic, as I had already been shooting excessively at LOVE Park for several years before it became apparent that there would only be a few months left before the city would began construction at LOVE.

This bad news pushed the locals to really take advantage of the limited amount of time left, and changed the dynamic of the storyline which was developing in my archive of photographs.

LSM: Why do you think having a plaza to skate influences a local scene so much? And which ones have you experienced yourself?

Jon: Having a plaza as a center point of a local skate scene can really unite a diverse community of people and bring them closer together. Much like a brotherhood or tribe. It's something that is very authentic and is why I believe plazas are so important to the history of skateboarding.

I've been to many plazas around the world, EMB, MACBA, JKWON, République, and so on, and this is a commonality you see at all of these places.

LSM: Where will the exhibition be?

Jon: The exhibition is taking place at the MUSTARD Hotel Shibuya. Part of the exhibit will be in the hotel's beautiful lobby, as well as a gallery they have on the second floor of the hotel.

The address is 渋谷ブリッジ B棟, 1-chōme-29-3 Higashi, Shibuya City, Tōkyō-to 150-0011, Japan.

LSM: Who do you think is the ultimate "plaza skater", and why?
Jon: Josh Kalis and Stevie Williams are definitely up there on my list because they took plaza skating to another level and to a broad audience.
But I really respect younger guys like Kevin Bilyeu and Jahmir Brown, who are continuing the legacy of plaza skating in Philadelphia.


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