Who: Bend native Marley Weedman is a young artist — celebrating her 23rd birthday Thursday (ahem, 4/20), in fact — and Mountain View High School graduate who attended one year of art school at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland. Currently, Weedman has an exhibit of painted skateboard decks on display through the month of April at Bellatazza, located at 869 NW Wall St., Suite 101, in downtown Bend. It’s Weedman’s first time displaying her deck art, painted with images of Frida Kahlo, Kim Kardashian and other female figures.
Q: Has your art evolved over the years?
A: Yes. I’ve mostly done abstract work in the past. This is the first time I’ve really sat down and focused on portraiture.
Q: What made you decide to start painting skate decks?
A: I had a box of them sitting in our storage unit. My boyfriend at the time had tons of decks that he had destroyed (laughs), and so they were free and I didn’t have to buy a canvas. … I like skate culture. I like the I-don’t-give-a-f**k attitude, so, yeah, I think I’ll continue to do it.
Q: What made you want to create these odes (to women) — why them in particular, or that subject matter?
A: I listened to this podcast, and they did a special on (JonBenet Ramsey), and they were talking about how unfortunate it is that she was just a sweet, unassuming girl, and the media painted her to be some, like, tiny whore. And so then I kind of became increasingly interested in that. Frida Kahlo is my icon. I’m usually attracted to women who are pretty brash and not afraid of their sexuality, and so I just started thinking a lot about how most of their lives seemed to come with a lot of tragedy, and the way that we seem to make, not a mockery, but celebritize tragedy, and just twisting the ideas and images of women to make them seem some sort of way. … This is the most excited I’ve ever been about any art I’ve done. I really liked painting these girls.
— David Jasper, The Bulletin