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Visual Arts

Color Me There: Thrift Store Surf Paintings

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January 17, 2003 :: No. 131

Surf painting 1 Surf Painting 2
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Surf painting 3
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Who: Cal State University, Fullerton, Grand Central Project Room
   
What: Color Me There: Thrift Store Surf Paintings
   
Where: Cal State University Fullerton, Grand Central Art Center, 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
   
When: Feb. 1 through March 30, 2003
Reception: 7-10 p.m. Saturday, February 1, 2003
   
Hours: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays
11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays
   
Background:

The collection of surf paintings are all done by various artists with different backgrounds, levels of artistic expertise and points of view. When viewed collectively, what they do share in common are the same characteristics inherent in surfing itself: an innocence and simplicity not found elsewhere. The recurrent “theme” in each painting is the same: a surfer riding a wave. But the interpretations vary wildly.

Steve Jones started collecting surf paintings about 10 years ago after seeing Jim Shaw’s “Thrift Store Paintings” show. His love of flea markets and surfing finally collided in a mash of weird canvases: surfers going the wrong way, doing bizarre turns in strange positions over mysterious ocean movements. The exhibition will feature 30 plus paintings.

The paintings are like surfers themselves: pros, bros, kooks and geeks; all are welcome in the world of thrift store surf paintings. All contain a purity of expression, that, when viewed collectively sums up surfing itself: a “stoked” feeling emerges. Enjoy! (From an essay by Steve Jones, 2003)

All of us approach artworks subjectively, projecting our own meanings into them. One of the beauties of thrift store paintings lies in their lack of any known history or stated reasons for existence. We are all equals in our lack of knowledge regarding them and are free to project at will and your interpretation has as much validity as anyone else's.

This large grouping of paintings of one subject can be seen as a testament to the power of surfing to draw its adherents to express the inexpressible feeling of riding a wave, the very impossibility of the endeavor that much more touching. Or they could be the wish fulfillment of kids who merely aspire to the sport, or the fulfillment of an assignment for a seascape in a retiree's painting class, or an assembly line product meant to be sold out of a car's trunk on La Cienega, or the deceptively placid work of a death row inmate.

Your guess is as good as mine. (From an essay “Color Me There,” by Jim Shaw, 2003)

   
Admission: Free
   
Internet: www.grandcentralartcenter.com and www.arts.fullerton.edu/events/
   
More Info: 714-567-7233 / 714-567-7234
   
Media Contacts: Andrea Harris, Grand Central Art Center at (714) 567-7234
Marilyn Moore, Cal State Fullerton Art Gallery at 657-278-7750

 

 

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