Sotheby's Supreme Skate Decks art collecting sothebys

In January, New York auction house Sotheby’s listed a Supreme collector’s grail: all 248 Supreme skateboard decks made between 1998 and 2018, including artistic collaborations with the likes of Jeff Koons, George Kondo, Takashi Murakami, Damien Hirst, and KAWS, as well as the super-rare unofficial Louis Vuitton monogram print decks from 2000, which got recalled after the fashion brand issued a cease-and-desist.

The entire collection was valued at between $800,000 and $1.2 million, and sold for $800,000 on January 25 to Carson Guo, a 17-year-old art collector from Vancouver. Guo comes from an art-collecting background. His father buys from auction houses and galleries, and is advised by Carson’s sister, who also collects on the side.

Guo might be younger than your typical collector, but the Supreme decks aren’t his first acquisition. He’s already bought a few Takashi Murakami paintings and KAWS prints, and collects figures, toys, and “anything that’s limited edition.” Luckily for Supreme fans, Guo doesn’t plan to keep his deck collection private. Instead, he wants to open a store that will be “part gallery, part boutique,” and keep the collection on display there alongside other limited edition pieces.

We caught up with Guo to find out what attracted him to the deck collection and discuss the overlap between Supreme and the art world.

What made you want to buy this collection?

I love how Supreme started as just a skateboard brand and has now become the top streetwear brand in the world. I love the free-minded culture behind Supreme, the rarity of their products, and the collaborations with other respected brands. I love the art that many of the decks have in this collection, including works by world famous artists such as KAWS, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and more. The time and effort the seller Mr. Ryan Fuller put in to complete the set is priceless.

How did you first get into Supreme?

I became aware of Supreme around two years ago. I went to a local hype store — shout out to Plus — and bought my first Supreme item ever: the chopsticks. I started to follow the brand from there.

I own roughly around 200 pieces, including a few skateboards, some clothes, and many accessories. My favorite piece is the Supreme x Everlast punching bag. The piece is very rare, and I love the collaboration between the two brands.

Do you collect Supreme pieces as investments or to wear?

I collect many Supreme accessories and clothes, some of which I do wear. I’m sure some are a good investment, but right now I’m just collecting for fun.

meet the 17 year old art collector who spent 800k on supreme decks art collecting sothebys
Carson Guo (right) with artist Francoise Gilot (left)

Supreme collaborates with artists all the time. Do you think there’s a connection between the brand and art?

Yes. Even though they are skateboards, I consider them to be art. A work can be unique and meaningful, no matter the shape or form it’s presented in, whether it’s a painting or a skateboard. In my opinion, a worthy piece of art is creative and purposeful. The work has a background and also a future.

Is there anything else you want people to know?

Street culture has slowly become a part of the modern world. I think it’s important for more people to appreciate and understand the culture behind street fashion.

News & Culture Editor

Berlin-based writer and Rihanna enthusiast.