Salt Lake City-based ski manufacturer collaborates with American contemporary painter to create a ski based on art from his famous 50 Kitchens collection
DPS Skis, the U.S.-based ski manufacturer pairing space-age carbon technology with groundbreaking shapes, is proud to launch an exclusive collaboration with artist Mark Grotjahn. Grotjahn has developed a ski top sheet based on drawing #15 from Grotjahn’s 50 Kitchens Collection. The limited-run DPS 50 Kitchens #15 Skis are available at dpsskis.com and Cripple Creek Backcountry, in-store and online.
“I like being immersed deep into nature where I feel small and like a little tourist, just a little guy on a big, big globe. Nature doesn’t care about me. Nature doesn’t not care about me. I just get to be a little visitor,” says Grotjahn on his passion for backcountry skiing. “I love the feeling of contemplation and quiet when I tour ski. I feel so in the moment that everything else disappears and I feel invisible. I think any skier or anybody who takes it seriously knows what it’s like to disappear into their sport. And I have to say, this feeling exists in making paintings too. It just happens more consistently on the mountain.”
Grotjahn was first introduced to backcountry skiing in Colorado’s Elk Mountains when he bought his first backcountry ski set-up and he attended a level-one avalanche course. After the course, Grotjahn wanted to take his new skills to practice and hired the head guide and owner of Aspen Expeditions, Amos Whiting. They spent the next two years exploring the backcountry when time would allow Grotjahn to sneak away. When Grotjahn was ready to upgrade his backcountry set-up, he walked into Cripple Creek Backcountry in Aspen and was immediately drawn to a pair of yellow monochrome skis made by DPS. Grotjahn was curious about the brand and he soon reached out to DPS to learn more about team behind the monochrome design.
Just six months after the initial introduction, Grotjahn and DPS release the new 50 Kitchens #15 Skis to the ski and art world. Grotjahn selected a pencil design from the 50 Kitchens collection because he knew it would take to a ski beautifully. The 50 Kitchens collection consists of “Butterfly” compositions, a motif Grotjahn has been creating since the nineties.
“Mark’s work, specifically the 50 Kitchens Collection, was a natural fit for DPS. This project is radically different than anything we’ve done before, but at the same time, Mark’s use of color and the level of discipline that comes through in his work spoke to us as the perfect collaboration,” says Dan Pizza, creative director at DPS Skis. “Mark is super down to earth and this project was a true collaboration where everyone worked together, asked questions, and listened to each other’s ideas. In the end, we are all super happy with the final product.”
The limited-edition 50 Kitchens #15 Skis (MSRP: $2,000) are made using the Kaizen construction, the latest DPS ski design evolution. With a 15m turn radius and 112mm width at the waist, the 50 Kitchens #15 Skis are made for maneuverability and powder skiing. The skis come cured with PHANTOM Glide, a permanent, waxless base glide treatment and are available today at dpsskis.com and Cripple Creek Backcountry in four lengths: 168cm, 178cm, 184cm and 189cm.
Grotjahn and DPS Skis will celebrate the launch of 50 Kitchens #15 Skis at Aspen Art Museum in Aspen, CO on Feb. 18, 2023 from 6-10pm. Tickets are available for $85 at www.aspenartmuseum.org.
About Mark Grotjahn: Mark Grotjahn is an American painter best known for abstract work and bold geometric paintings. Grotjahn lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his B.F.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and M.F.A. from University of California, Berkeley. Grotjahn has exhibited his work in solo exhibitions including The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Aspen Art Museum, CO; Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA; Gagosian Gallery, New York and London; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA. His work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions including the 2005 Carnegie International; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA, and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
About the 50 Kitchens Collection: Los Angeles-based artist Mark Grotjahn has made “Butterfly” compositions since the nineties and the 50 Kitchens collection draws on this motif. 50 Kitchens takes its inspiration from a single composition, in black and cream-colored pencil, that Grotjahn made to meet the dimensional specifications of a wall in his kitchen. The more than fifty subsequent chromatic drawings explore pairs of radiating colors (like Tuscan Red and Chartreuse, or Grass Green and Canary Yellow) and together create a prismatic display. The pencil design, or set of lines, that designates each composition has been likened to an upended perspectival diagram, creating a compressed rather than expansive sense of rapid recession into or out of space. Colored pencils are used to fill in between these lines, producing waxy surfaces that bring to mind sun flares and starbursts, as well as psychedelic tunnel vision.
On the 'Totally Deep' podcast, Doug Stenclik and Randy Young of Cripple Creek Backcountry interview Mark Grotjahn to learn more about the inspiration behind his art, his love for skiing, and his experience creating this ski. Click here to listen.