Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hydrodynamica: Remember the Future


4 TO 10 PM


Space 4 Art and Loft 9 Gallery present a Pacific Standard Time exhibition exploring early surfboard design and how the use of surfboard materials influenced mid-century sculptors and designers.

The show was conceived and curated by Richard Kenvin, of Loft 9 Gallery. Kenvin is the director of the Hydrodynamica Project and has surfed in San Diego for over forty years. The exhibition focuses primarily on the work of two Southern California surfboard pioneers: Bob Simmons and Carl Ekstrom.

Simmons’ board design and early use of composite construction processes in board building from 1949 to 1954 parallels California’s post-war modern design movement and profoundly influenced modern surfing and skateboarding. Andy Warhol considered Ekstrom’s surfboards works of art and purchased two in 1968 for props in the campy surfsploitation flick “San Diego Surf.” The boards helped inspire an explosion of revolutionary surfboard design in San Diego that culminated with the designs of Steve Lis in the late 1960’s.

The exhibition will feature original Simmons planing hulls and other objects he made, including the boomerangs he used for experimentation. Boards from Ekstrom, Lis, and Nicholas Mirandon will also be exhibited, along with photographs and short film clips. Viewers will be invited to ponder the relationship of these designs to California art and design from 1945 to 1980. Once overlooked, surfboard design is currently experiencing a worldwide renaissance that is changing surfers’ perspectives on the past and changing the way people ride waves today.

Pacific Standard Time is an unprecedented series of concurrent exhibitions throughout Southern California museums and galleries that highlight the significance of art in Los Angeles region in the post World War II decades. Exhibitions and related programs began in the fall of 2011 and conclude in spring 2012.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

40 years later...

Marshall Myrman took the top photo in the early 70s at Big Rock. His subjects are Mark Skinner and Rex Huffman. Three kings in their court at a time when kneeboarders ruled the Rock and surfed it as deep and radical as the best shortboarders do today. Most rode fishes. The next three frame grabs are the same trio (Marshall, Rex, & Skinner) on a day last winter, still at it 40 years later, weaving through the flotsam & jetsam of 2011. Obviously, the sign in the old photo lost it's power long ago, but these guys never lost their passion for the Rock. The last photo is a group of backyard Big Rock fish kneeboards from the time...with a stray Greenough spoon on the far right. These boards and some of Marshall's classic images will be exhibited at our Pacific Standard Time exhibit here on January 28th. Recent frame grabs of Marshall, Rex, and Skinner from footage shot by Michelle Bossuot for the Hydrodynamica Project.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Hello. I'm a spaceman. I'm a weirdness from the future and the past. I am the spirits of Einstein, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Simmons, taken possession, temporarily, of the innocent body known here on earth as Tom Morey. I (we, really) am looking at your surfboards of today and am thinking they are junk. Maybe you're impressed (as these boards are possibly the best you've ever known) (possibly, as even that is questionable), but really not too impressive. We Weirdos realize that ANYTHING IMAGINABLE IS POSSIBLE. Very little imagination is reflected in "today's board." It is basically the same as "yesterday's board," the board surfed last year, the year before that, the year before that and the year before that..."

-Tom Morey, Surfer Magazine, 1970.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

PST: Hunting & Gathering

fruits picked on Central Coast road trip from Mike Hischier family & Hanz Newman for PST exhibit January 28th.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Twin Pins. Late 1960s, San Diego. Skateboard photographed by Ryan Field.

Gary Keating about to grind some wet coping. Ultra-short twin. San Diego, 1970. Photo by Wayne Kirchner.

Hydrodynamica: Remember the Future. A participating gallery in Pacific Standard Time.
Primordial surf/skate connections in San Diego. Late 1960s and early Seventies. The obsession with speed and traction, wet or dry. Gary Keating and Henry Hester, shown here skating at La Costa in 1975, knew all about aquatic speed and traction through fish and twins years before Frank Nasworthy moved from the East coast to San Diego with the first run of Cadillac Wheels in the early 1970s. When they got the wheels they eased their fish jones with downhill pumping and speed runs. Hester at this time was absolutely ripping waves on very short asymmetric fishes. See photos above of Keating in 1970 on a super short twin. As for Frank, he was, and still is, an avid fish rider. Wheel shown is from one of the first batches of Cadillacs produced when Frank came to San Diego. Also note sixties roller derby skateboard modified to look like Mirandon Twin Pin. Prior to the arrival of urethane the dream was a skateboard that rode like a fish. After urethane, the dream was a surfboard that rode like a skateboard. Still is. For a few years before Frank's revolutionary wheels, it was the fish riders who where experiencing, on waves, the speed, traction, and flow lines that would soon be taken to shocking levels of performance on concrete with the Z-Boys. Surfers like Steve Lis, Jeff Ching, Larry Gephart, Mike Tabeling were all experiencing the fish in a way that foreshadowed the skate revolution.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

6'1" Butterknife tri 12/31/11

Theodore Kenneth Smith. March 13th 1959-December 31st 2011

Ted died while surfing Windansea yesterday. He was one of the kindest and most soulful people I've ever known. Images are from footage of Ted riding a Caster singlefin at Simmons reef in 1979, a place he surfed with style, grace, and power. Footage shot by Jim Weaver. We will miss you Ted. Beyond words.