When I think of George Manos, I think of Minimal Typographic Design, when I went to university to study, the lecturers used to drum it into the class everyday, “aesthetics”, don’t just fill up a page for the sake of it, of course sometimes you can’t afford it, a newspaper is a good example of that scenario.
Flatland is very similar aesthetically to what I was taught at University, a combo can last to long and your original intent with a combo is lost, I’m certainly guilty enough of it back in the 90′s. For years if you told me a combo can be ruined if it lasted too long I would have laughed at you, but as my knowledge and riding skills have progressed, I’ve realised there is a right time to pull out of a trick. Essentially pulling the filler out of your combos and getting right down to the trick you want to show in its purist form. Much like graphic design, when there is too much information on a page, the page becomes messy, and it’s not inviting to read, the similarities between trick composition and graphic design fundamentals are all to apparent for me now.
If you read Steve Mulder’s interview recently on this site, we touched on the phrase “Less is more”, I asked Steve, how do you know when a combo is finished? “I ride based on what I want to see, and for me I like bigger tricks or short creative flow stuff with a bigger trick mixed in. I mean if you’re at a contest watching a run and someone drops into a hitchhiker does a 360 kick flip and lands it perfect do you really want to see them go into a long front wheel clone link that you’ve seen a hundred times? That kills the moment for me and makes it less exciting.”
George’s riding to me is very much in this vain, George commented during his stay in Southsea that riding pegless actually made flatland easier to him, it was made him focus on his ideas much more. The tricks he is currently working on are mind blowing, it was really motivating to see such a creative talent at work.
I asked him about his experience at the Rebel jam, he commented a 3 minute run is the ideal amount of time to “exhibit his new tricks”, to everyone what he has been doing. In my mind what remains to be seen is much like Steve Mulder, how does a rider doing less, compete against riders doing 1 minute combos in the contest environment. What’s better something new and creative, or something old but dialled? As with anybody creating art some understand it, others don’t, not everyone likes your work, but at least it’s your work. For now I don’t see contests as the right platform for George to showcase his work, although it is refreshing to see George in the mix, that for the record is not a bitchy comment by the way, I see his edits having way more impact, his most recent edit with James Smith captured his dark character really well.
In this period of time were it seems creative styles are few and far between, we should celebrate what George is doing a lot more! Thank you George for making flatland so much better!