Photography by Marina EkroosA
t a skatepark in San Cosme, Mexico, Finnish-born photographer Marina Ekroos found herself out of her element in so many ways. First, she was far from home geographically, traveling from her base in Europe to California and then through Mexico. An accomplished studio, fashion and fine art photographer she found a new palette in the colors and swirls from Los Angeles to Mexico City, but her forte had always been finding life in the lifeless studio environment. When she pointed her lens at the chaos of whirling, jumping and tumbling skateboarders some new alchemy occurred.
A friend had suggested she come along to a skatepark in San Cosme. “As a photographer, I knew that skate photography is its own form of art and felt very distant from it,” she says. And she freely admits, “I knew nothing about skateboarding, didn’t feel any connection to the sport or the culture.”
I had to let go of control and step outside my comfort zone.
The skatepark seemed a dangerous place. Moreso than your usual beachfront bowl. This one was under a highway bridge in the midst of a busy intersection. There she met Gabriel, a local skateboarder, and became inspired by him and his friends and the freedom with which they skated. She resolved to come back to more fully document the crew, and that turned into a road trip, where she traveled with the pack through streets, rodeos, fiestas, pools and beaches from San Cosme to Hidalgo, Ixtapa, Puebla and San Miguel de Allende.
The whirlwind pushed the photographer into another way of looking. “I had to let go of control and step outside my comfort zone,” she says, “forget the learned conventions and see the world differently.”
And yes, she even learned how to skate, too. Though she is quick to point out she’s no skater and enjoys her remove as an observer. Those observations are on full display here and we enjoy them, too.