Zered Bassett’s Art of Skateboarding in Lazinc Magazine

Paper Skaters: An Interview with Zered Bassett

A few years ago, a fascinating street art project called “Paper Skaters” made its debut in skate spots across New York, LA, and Hong Kong. These cleverly positioned skateboarders, in the form of wheatpastes, sparked curiosity among the skateboarding community. In 2018, professional skateboarder Zered Bassett stepped forward to claim ownership of this creative endeavor. Bassett, renowned for his high-speed technicality, spot selection, and dedication to New York style street skating, brings a unique perspective to his photography, capturing the very essence and appeal of skateboarding. By pasting these photos and collages onto walls, Bassett completes a circle that starts from the streets, evolves through photography, and returns to the streets once again.

Getting Started on the Project

In an interview with Eben Benson, Bassett shares the origins of the Paper Skaters project. As he sat in traffic one day, his gaze fell upon a group of buildings. One particular rooftop caught his attention, resembling a potential skate spot. This triggered an idea in Bassett’s mind, pushing him to use his photographs in a different way. Upon returning home, he contacted a friend for a photoshoot, printed the resulting photo life-sized, and cut it out. The next step was finding a location to paste it up, where it would blend seamlessly with the surroundings. This initial experience ignited Bassett’s passion for the project, leading him to establish a studio equipped with a large format printer. In addition to photography, he also enjoys creating collages.

Choosing Images and Locations

When it comes to selecting images for wheatpasting, Bassett exclusively uses photographs he has taken. During his photo shoots, he often has a concept in mind. If not, he captures whatever inspires him and later sifts through the images. Once he has chosen the photographs, he embarks on a search for locations where they fit in terms of size and perspective. Alternatively, he may come across a compelling location and intentionally take a photo specifically for that spot.

Skateboarding and Graffiti

Bassett’s deep connection with skateboarding resonates strongly within his art. Growing up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where graffiti wasn’t prevalent, it wasn’t until he started traveling to skate in cities like Rhode Island, Boston, and New York that he discovered the symbiotic relationship between skateboarding and graffiti. The act of picking skate spots mirrors the process of selecting locations for graffiti art. Bassett’s sponsorship by Zoo York Skateboards, an NYC-based crew with roots in both skateboarding and graffiti, further solidified his involvement and passion for these intertwined lifestyles.

Favorite Skate Spot as a Kid

Reflecting on his childhood, Bassett fondly recalls an abandoned gas station in his hometown. Equipped with a metal curb, it became a haven for local skaters. The older kids would bring jump ramps and rails to create a makeshift skate park, making it Bassett’s favorite spot to skate in his early years.

Stepping into the Open

For a while, Bassett kept the Paper Skaters project under the radar because of his strong attachment to it. He wanted people to experience it without his name attached, allowing the art itself to take the spotlight. However, as his vision for the project became clearer and more defined, he felt ready to share it with the world. Hence, the decision to step out into the open and claim ownership of this remarkable endeavor.

Creative Inspirations

While Bassett finds inspiration in the work of JR, an artist known for his captivating street art, he draws creative motivation from various elements in his environment. His surroundings constantly provide a rich source of inspiration for his artistic expressions.

Collaborations and Future Plans

Bassett’s collaboration with Habitat, a renowned skateboarding company, came about when Joe Castrucci, the founder of Habitat, discovered Bassett’s work on Instagram. This exciting opportunity marked Bassett’s first collaboration with a brand he had always admired. As for future plans, Bassett expresses his desire to organize exhibitions or frame his photographs for a potential art show. Moreover, he aspires to compile his work into a coffee table book, showcasing his journey through the Paper Skaters project.


Zered Bassett’s Paper Skaters project has captivated the skateboarding community with its cleverly positioned wheatpastes, bringing skateboarding and art together in a unique and visually striking way. Bassett’s passion for street skateboarding seamlessly translates into his photography, capturing the spirit of the sport and its irreverent appeal. The fusion of his photographs and collages with the urban landscape adds a new dimension to the art form.

FAQs about Paper Skaters

1. How did Zered Bassett come up with the name “Paper Skaters” for his project?

Bassett derived the name “Paper Skaters” from the medium he uses to showcase his photography: wheatpastes. These life-sized printed images, once pasted onto walls, bring the illusion of skaters made of paper coming to life in urban environments.

2. Are all the photographs featured in the Paper Skaters project taken by Zered Bassett himself?

Yes, all the photographs featured in the Paper Skaters project are captured by Zered Bassett. He uses his own unique perspective to document skateboarding moments and curate the images for wheatpasting.

3. Can anyone participate in the Paper Skaters project?

While the Paper Skaters project primarily showcases Zered Bassett’s photography, there is potential for collaborations or contributions from other artists. However, engagement with the project would need to be discussed and coordinated with Bassett directly.

4. How long does a wheatpaste typically last before it fades or gets removed?

The longevity of a wheatpaste largely depends on several factors, such as weather conditions and the specific location where it is pasted. Some wheatpastes may last a few weeks, while others may endure for several months.

5. Are there any plans to bring the Paper Skaters project to other cities around the world?

Zered Bassett has expressed interest in expanding the Paper Skaters project to other cities in the future. While there may not be concrete plans at the moment, the project has the potential to evolve and leave its artistic mark in various urban landscapes worldwide.