Alex Corporan was born and raised in NYC. He’s been a sponsored skateboarder, a fashion model, manager at Supreme, team marketing and public relations at Etnies… the list goes on. I’d always heard him talk of these shoeboxes of photos from 90s and 2000s that were full of images and footage from an era in NYC skateboarding that has not been seen by many before. Today, we’re going to get a first look at some of those shoebox archives + hear a bit from the man on what living in NYC and capturing that era of time in skateboarding was like.
To open up why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself, as well as what was going on in NYC, and in skating in NYC, that lead you to start shooting these pictures?
Born and raised in Manhattan as a Dominican kid, I fell in love the minute I touched my first skateboard. NYC is a special place because it has so much character. It’s tangible, and you can always find something that’s new but old + old but new. Also, the appreciation I have for being able to walk/skate in New York is amazing, you’re never stuck in a car, you can never really hide. Skateboarding in NYC is amazing because it’s the biggest skate park ever besides Barcelona.
What were you shooting back then?
Skateboarding was my segway to the world, I still trip on all my accomplishments and the on-going things I have the opportunity to do. I will never define myself as a photographer, but will say that I love photography and film because of the moments. I’ve traveled to so many places, been around insane situations and was + still am always allowed to capture moments that are amazing.I have so many photos shot on film… it’s a bit ridiculous.
I just love being around people and the energy it brings. Life can be short or long but having a camera and capturing a moment is priceless. I shot a lot of my photos with a Yaschica T4 then moved on to a Contax T2 before I went digital and fell in love with all the Canon products. Here are some shots I’ve dug up from my archives. I cant wait to show them all later this year, but I think you’ll get gist of what I’ve captured.
I spent a wonderful time with Keenan in Australia—it was a Cheech and Chong moment that year. We wild-ed out so hard. I will never forget spending New Years with him at International Bar, once run by our great friend, James Ingram. He treated us like celebrities.
People approached Keenan and I hard, and the funniest part of that night was, in NY everyone does the countdown and the whole kissing thing. But in Australia, we counted down and it was just us—hugging each other with a magnum bottle of Veuve Cliquo and laughing it up together.
This night was the insane night before the Ted Newsome wedding. Shirts off, cops loving us, a bunch of booze and funny things going on. We literally took over the bar and made into our party house. If those walls from the bar to the hotel can talk, we would be in a lot of trouble.
I will say the best time working at Supreme was when Ryan [Hickey] and I were running the shop because he and I were still skating and we would have sessions out front when it was slow. At one point, everyone would visit us and wanted us to go shred but we had to work. Still, we would throw down some tricks with everyone in front of the store and laugh it up, then get back to business.
Hickey has been a big inspiration to me especially at that time because our crew got kind of jaded and stopped skating. Working with him was a blessing because he helped keep hope alive at that time. Hamilton would frequently visit us and it was amazingly enjoyable to have great talks with him—he would always leave me with the best PMA.
I took this photo during the trade show when it was still ASR, I remember this moment because we were at the hotel getting ready to go to Tijuana, which was a staple thing to do after the trade show. I have some gnarly photos of Jamie Story, Robbie and I in TJ… but that will be shown on a later day. Big respect to these guy—some of the biggest rippers ever.
During the Spa NYC days when Amy Gunther and I use to run the clubs in the early 2000s. True Australian posse in this photo. These three guys made Australia a paradise for me. I have so much love for them it’s insane. True story, Chris showed me how to shave when I was 28 in Aussie.
It isn’t a party if Harold doesn’t take over. The man, the myth, the legend… the story behind this moment is too long and there’s too many versions of it, but I must say, we had a great fucking time walking back to the hotel.
Couldn’t smoke the good stuff at the trade show, but as New Yorkers, we always find a safe haven. Chilling on the lawn over the little bridge in the sun.
The Back of The Store… is a book/movie I’m working on this year about the antics that happened during and after work hours at Supreme. I used to hang my VX, put it on record and let the show go on while I snapped photos at the same time. Harold was pure comedy. He was always center stage. Deeply miss and love him.
Epic moment at the Playboy mansion. Red Bull flew me out for this event. I was smiling for miles. What better way to enjoy a moment like this with your friends. Shaun White was the highlight and the Grotto was out of control… had a hugging moment with Pamela Anderson and ended up having a sweet time with the Brazilian cover model at the time. NUFF SAID!
Stay in the loop with Alex via his Instagram, and keep an eye out as he drops more photos from his shoebox archives in anticipation for The Back of The Store… coming out later this year.