Surf’s up!

Summer is here! Or was here! So what better way to continue the summery ‘vibes’ than with an exhibition of surfboards, emblazoned with the works of perma-untanned, Pittsburgh boy Andy Warhol.

Warhol surfboards from Bessell's first series
Warhol surfboards from Bessell’s first series

Opening this week at London’s StolenSpace Gallery is Warhol Surf, a display of surfboards designed by artist Tim Bessell based on Warhol’s 1970s movie San Diego Surf.

Hailing from sunny California (where else?), Bessell has thus far created ten Warhol boards in total, all of which will be on show.

Using images from across Warhol’s oeuvre, Bessell combines the graphics with popular surfboard shapes to produce the final pieces. All are realised in collaboration with the Warhol Foundation.

‘As I was growing up, my mom who was an artist was always pointing out Andy Warhol’s art to me. In college, Andy Warhol was one of my idols in the pop art world’, says Bessell.

Warhol surfboards from Bessell's second series
Warhol surfboards from Bessell’s second series

The artists met when Bessell was studying art and architecture at San Diego State University.

’Carl Ekstrom, who was a good friend of mine who had sold two of his surfboards to Andy Warhol in 1967, had cultivated a relationship with him,’ Bessell explains.

‘When I was invited to New York City by Gary Binko who was a film producer, Carl told me to tell Andy hello if I saw him.

‘Gary’s older brother was a PR agent for the Playboy Club and invited us to the grand opening of the club in Manhattan. Andy Warhol was there hanging out with five models when I walked in with my friends. They all dared me to walk up to him and introduce myself. I was so nervous, but I did it!’

‘Warhol Surf’; Andy Warhol & Tim Bessell runs from 2 August – 1 September at StolenSpace, 17 Osborn Street, London E1

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  • Hana Peg November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Silly article. But more importantly, bad “design”. Slap an image from someone famous onto something and call it yours.

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