Surf Support

MOCA's Artists Support Surf Themed Fundraiser

Surfing and surf culture has long influenced the worlds of fashion, music, and film and has captivated such renown contemporary artists as Ed Ruscha, James Turrell, Julian Schnabel, Russell Crotty and Raymond Pettibon, all of whom are represented in MOCA’s permanent collection. MOCA’s director and chief curator Bonnie Clearwater observed how surfing had become a major theme and metaphor for artists, noting that “For many of these artists the surfer is a witness of the awe-inspiring power of nature. They consider surfing as the only physical activity that comes close to what it feels like to make art as it combines total freedom with skill. Like surfers, artists brave failure in order to achieve a singular sublime gesture.”

Raymond Pettibon and Russell Crotty and their galleries have each donated works to the silent auction for Surf’s Up that incorporate the surfing theme. Pettibon, who grew up surfing in Hermosa Beach, California, makes art whose subject covers a spectrum of American youth culture. MOCA’s collection includes a series of Pettibon’s ink on paper drawings from 2003 depicting one of his most recurrent themes, breaking waves. Pettibon masterfully reduces of the power of the ocean into a few minimalist brush strokes. Pettibon, who currently lives in Venice Beach, CA, and Regen Projects has generously donated a hand-colored etching, No Title (When The Ground), 2002, to the silent auction in support of MOCA where he had a solo exhibition in 2003.

Avid surfer Russell Crotty lives and works on the cliffs of Malibu overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Crotty progressed from sketches of both real and imagined surfing spots in the late 1980s, to bound books of the subject and then to large-scaled grid drawings of individual cells depicting wave forms. Crotty’s monoprints of waves are created by drawing directly on print plates coated with ink. His work is in the collections of Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles and the Whitney Museum of American Art as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. He and The Shoshana Wayne Gallery donated a 2008 monoprint “Omular Eyes” to the MOCA BASH Surf’s Up auction.

Miami artists were also inspired by the Surfing theme of this year’s MOCA Bash and have worked with Shirley Schwartz, chair of the MOCA Bash artists’ committee, to develop the vibe and décor for the event. Artist Carol Adrianza has designed one-of-a-kind custom costumes for the evenings’ performers that recall beachwear of the 50s and 60s.

Bidding on the Pettibon and Crotty works as well as other works donated by MOCA artists is available on line at MOCA BASH Surf’s Up will be held on Saturday, February 19, 8 pm to 12 midnight, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th Street, North Miami. Tickets are available at $175 and may be purchased by calling 305 893 6211 or visiting Proceeds from MOCA BASH Surf’s Up benefit the museum’s programs, exhibitions and permanent collection.

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