Bobby Puleo is an East Coast Street Skateboarding Legend.
He’s known for his unique artistic style and defiant comittment to creative exploration on and off his board.
He owns and runs online-based board brand VICTIM
What’s your full name, where are you originally from and where do you live now?
Robert Jack Puleo Jr. Clifton, NJ, Queens, NY
What do you think about the relationship of skateboarding and making art?
I just do what I think feels
a] most natural
b] most satisfying
c] what fits the spot
In terms of a relationship to it all, it’s all art, isn’t it?
Do you still collect discovered items to exhibit?
Yes. Everyday I find something new.
My latest obsessions are combs, Bic lighters and “Little Tree” air fresheners.
Do you have any tips for those who want to fine tune their style on the board and canvas?
Again, you’ve got to do what feels natural.
Pick something you like and imitate it.
Just don’t rip it off.
What do you like about graffiti?
I like the fact that good graffiti writers have to pick spots, have good letters and it’s all illegal.
It’s a lot like how skateboarding used to be.
What skate brands, art, music or film inspire you and make you want to create work?
I’m into the old brands.
I like mob/mafia history.
I like Glen Jones and X-Ray Burns’ Radio show.
Is there a skater who inspires you that you’ve not mentioned before?
When I was a kid I was super into Matt Hensley’s progressiveness.
He was an early inspiration for sure. I would mimic his style. The way he dressed.
But moving slightly forward I was super influenced by:
Mike Carroll and Rick Howard
Anything early Girl/Chocolate.
Olly Todd is one of our favourite skaters and a poet. What’s your favourite thing in his Landscape Skateboards portraits section?
Man, haven’t watched that in a minute, but I just like the way he looks on a skateboard.
Outside of skating, are there any artists, musicians or filmmakers that you respect?
Art Blakey and Ornette Coleman
When did you start Victim, what does the name mean and do you do all the art direction?
Well technically the only presence the brand has is on The IG account.
That said, the “brand” started as a blog site about 10+ years ago.
The site was called www.areyouavictim.com. I would post random stuff I was interested in.
People could leave comments. The aesthetic and design elements came from things I thought were tasteful.
Who’s on the team and what is the ethos?
The team is “Billy Bannerman”, “John Smith” and “Buck Howard”.
Nah, I’m just kidding. There is no team. It’s just me.
It’s not really a brand per se. not yet at least.
I just make things I like. I need a production person Know anyone? Ha.
Does Victim have any upcoming releases that you want the people out there to know about?
No, ha. The brand is actually a bit of a hybrid.
It’s still kinda called “Victim”, but I also operate it under the “TIM&VIC” moniker as well.
Its it’s ghost identity. Eventually it will split into the “TIM” brand and the “VIC” brand. Always evolving.
Your talent for spot exploration is well documented in your parts. What motivates you to find new stuff to skate?
Gotta keep it fresh.
If it ain’t fresh, it ain’t worth a shit! I like puzzles. I like putting things together.
I like things that go well together. I also like finding stuff.
I have to ask you about skating in New York and the east coast. What was that like growing up?
Well I grew up just west of NYC in Clifton. Clifton has a unique landscape. A little grimey, a little suburby, pretty diverse. There was incredible spots to skate around here, and a very healthy scene in the early to mid 80’s. Of course once I was old enough to go into the city, it was on. Kid in a candy shop. Winter sucks.
That shot of you doing the Backside Ollie on the quarter in front of the Twin Towers by Mike O’Meally is a serious banger. How did that go down?
The Backside Ollie? Well That lot was an abandoned BEDT facility. Went to shit in the 80’s. People started skating it in the mid to late 90’s. We called it “SkankyTown”.
It was a big graffiti spot and tons of homeless people lived back there. It’s right on the water. Dead bodies would turn up every now and again. Quarter Pipe got built and photo got shot. Pre 9/11, obviously
Bobby Backside Ollie, New York, 2000: Shot by Mike O’Meally
Do you find yourself repeating a favourite word or phrase?
Yes. “Local’s Only”
Bobby, Gap Out to FS Tailslide
There was quite a bit of footage at Holborn Viaduct in your Static 2 section.What’s your favourite spot in London?
Probably Holborn Viaduct.
I like dense cities. I also like being able to communicate with the locals and a shitty attitude. Philly is great.
Do you have any plans for the future or recent news that you’d like to mention?
Any last pieces of advice for people out there reading this?
Don’t eat animals and meditate frequently.