Love and Guts Exhibition
August 1st - 30th, 2009

Steve Caballero

Crewest: First, the basics: Where are you from? How long have you been a professional skateboarder for? What got you started?

Caballero: I am from San Jose, but now reside in Campbell, CA. I've been skating professionally since 1980, over 29 years. What got me started in Skating was my drive to find something that was challenging, I was good at and could excel at a fun pace and skateboarding became just that for me.

Q. How did you come up with the name "skate and destroy?" can you tell us the story?

A. The name Skate and Destroy came from and article that Craig CR. Stecyk wrote for Thrasher magazine in the early 80's and it became the staple of how people approach the sport.

Q. When Vans introduced The Half Cab (your signature shoe) what input did you contribute to the design? How would you redesign the shoe today?

A. The Half-CAB shoe came out in 1992 and the input that i gave to them was for them to take my existing high-top CABALLERO signature skate shoe, which was first released in 1989, and just cut it down to make a midtop, release the show in various colors, make a label with a silhouette of me doing the trick and call it the Half-CAB. They agreed and the show just blew up and it was a huge success. As for re-designing the shoe, i wouldn't. It's awesome the way it is and it's still currently their number one selling core shoe in their line today. There's been a huge excitement and demand for this style once again and has become very trendy again. Must have been because all the other shoe brands have been knocking it off for the past few years and now it's a popular shoe again, I thank them and I’m flattered for them doing so.

Q. You have tackled more challenges in your life so far then most ever do, what motivates you?

A. The passion to succeed, learn and grow. We all have this inner sensibility to progress, create and be challenged and it's those who get past the fear of failure that most can live life to discover our fullest potentials. You must first fail to succeed, i learn this from skateboarding and I adapt this to all aspects of my life. I truly believe that God designed/created us to be productive and creative human beings.

Q. How has the relationship between the urban and punk subcultures inspired you in your artistic expression?
A. What i like about urban and punk subcultures is the fact that the attitude is all about doing it yourself and not waiting on anyone to doing it for ya. This way you don't lose the creative freedom in all that you do and want to try and express. Sometimes it takes stepping away from the mainstream and being a follower, to becoming a leader by doing things DIY style, then for the public to catch on later on what's trendy and cool at the time.

Q. How has skateboarding allowed you to see the world through an artists eyes?

A. On a skateboard you have all the creative freedom you want, when ever you want and how you want. As a professional skateboarder we can decide our own choices and destiny on how we want our career to go because it's not a team sport, but an individual team sport. We can choose what we want to skate and how we want to skate it, just like an artist. Our tool is our skateboard and the canvas is the world and everything in it.

Q. You've been showing your art for awhile now, with "ugly winners" and "writers vs. ryders" under your belt, what kind of reactions have you gotten so far?

A. The reactions have been awesome and I’m stoked that people even recognize me as an artist now. It's something I have wanted to achieve for a long time and it's now coming to flourish with hard work and patience on my part. It's really nice to know that if i just focus, concentrate, set some goals and put in the time, that i can be successful at this as well. For me it's the fact that I have inspired people for many years through my skateboarding and now I want to continue to do so with art, Lord willing.

Q. What medium do you prefer to work in? Or which do you gravitate to most naturally? paint, photography, mixed media...

A. I treat Art like I do my skating, i want to do it and dabble in it all, and it’s just finding the time that makes it hard for me at times being a family man and all with two kids and one on the way. But it goes in trends for me. It started out with just pencil and pen sketches, then i got really excited about acrylic paint and how colorful it can be, then Jason Adams turned me onto stenciling and now I’m really into inking and pin striping with a brush. Photography is fun to and learning to have an eye for it. My strong passion for old cars and traditional hot rods has helped me develop that artistically as well.

Q. You are an artist in the “Love and Guts” exhibit, what does the title of the exhibit mean to you?

A. Well "Love" to me means the Life of Christ Jesus and how he lived it and "Guts", meaning courage, is what we need to express that love honestly, creatively, passionately and freely.

Q. Tell us about the pieces you have on display for the “Love and Guts” Exhibit .

A. What I’ll be showing and displaying will be my passion for things that go fast, make loud noises and look really cool riding and driving them :) Come to the show and you'll see what I mean!

Steve Caballero websites:

FYI...Cab's artwork in this show is great and so reasonably priced..sure to sell, so get to the gallery early! One of his photos already has a red dot and it hasn't even been hung!

Interview by: Hazel.Roth

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