Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Jay and I saw Under the Sun last Saturday in SF (awesome film, beautifully done, and oh, the animation!) and introduced ourselves to Cyrus Sutton, who was such a nice guy (Ryan T., I said hi for you). Jay talked to Cyrus a little about his film...did you know that it took him 3 years to make...and that he did everything - write, direct, edit, animate, produce...what a labor of love. I told him how much I loved the animation and he said it took him 40 hours to animate 6 seconds. It also has a wonderful environmental message and I hope it does really well in New York.
Of course I am hoping the same thing for Musica Surfica, and those who follow Mick's blog know that his film is a true labor of love, too.
Thought I'd highlight this one premiering tonight - of course, it's already sold out!
The Rocks - directed by Mark Temme
When I first visited Mollusk in SF earlier this year, I asked the owner why he had a shop in New York - is there really that much surf there? He said I'd be surprised how many surfers there are in New York - a lot of them transplants from California, and echoed pretty much this exact same quote from the film..."The surf - when we get it, which is few and far between, is SOLID".
I wonder if the guys from Speed Demons Anonymous are going. They are New York surfers and I enjoy reading their blog.
Well, it's the last weekend in September. I hope it's a really good one for you. I'm going to L.A. to meet up with 2 college friends. Then it's back in the studio. October will be all about being in the studio. I'll post a bit about that in the coming weeks - a shout out for "sinned" - thanks for the inspiration. Cheers all.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Seeing this clip from the 1972 film, Five Summer Stories made me feel so happy and peaceful. This one will have to go in the surf dvd collection. What is it about the 1970s? I love that era. The soundtrack consists of Beach Boys material from their albums, Holland and Surf's Up, the latter with some of the most beautiful cover artwork I've seen. The image really gets me.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Standing in one of the moss and dirt covered tunnels in Leeds, England, Paul Curtis, "Moose" as he calls himself, saw marks on the wall where the shoulders of unsteady drunks and the fingertips of curious children had exposed the shiny white tile. And with only a pair of socks as his tool, reverse graffiti was born.
No paint. No defacing. Moose makes his art by cleaning; removing the ills of dirt and pollution by de-defacing- wiping away dirt into large type and shapes, leaving nothing behind but a beautiful work of "green art."
For the past ten years, Moose has been working to perfect his craft. More recently, his skill and notoriety have led to the creation of commissioned pieces as well.
Moose enjoys creating 'legal graffiti' although at times has been in the press for being a vandal. But no one has ever been able to make a case against him because as he says, "No one owns the dirt."
Monday, September 15, 2008
Thanks to Jess for finding this piece of insanity. Hold on to your seats, because you are about to take the most amazing ride of your life. This is better than going to the IMAX. Remember to breathe. Don't you love how they are wearing blue suits?!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
We rushed down to Santa Barbara this weekend so Jay could do his guest lecture at Brooks Institute. Even though Jay has taught at the Academy of Art in SF for the past 6 years, I have never been to any of his classes. This was my first time hearing him speak to a classroom of students, and I was blown away. He is such a natural speaker and I was so interested in everything he was talking about.
He started off by telling the students, "I already have so much respect for you because you're risk takers. You took a risk by enrolling in this school. I bet some members of your family or inner circle said, 'What!? You want to be a photographer?' (Many knowingly nodded their heads and chuckled)."
He continued, "You are kindred spirits. I'm thrilled to be here. I love speaking to young people, but I really love speaking to photography students".
Later, when showing them his series called 'Cali Life', he said, "When I'm shooting this stuff, I'm really just a 14-year old boy with a camera".
Vid of nice surf at Rincon earlier this year...
I hope you're all having a good time. What has been the best part of your weekend? Surfers, what kind of fun do you like to have when it's flat?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This is a moment in my life where I am truly thankful, because that dream is becoming a reality. I am also blown away, because this dream is happening in Brazil, alongside a whole community of talented artists, photographers, shapers and filmmakers. I do not know if I will be able to go in person, but I cannot wait to share more of the process and my art with you.
Last week you may recall I interviewed Jair Bortoleto and this week, I am on the other side of his questions... here is my own interview for the Santos SurfArt Show - January 20-26, 2009.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Surfindian ~ 4658 Mission Blvd., Pacific Beach, CA
I really wish I could go to Cyrus and Ryan's show this Saturday. If you're local, hook it up and enjoy for all of us who will be there in spirit!
I asked Ryan a few questions to get a better idea of the show...
How did the collaboration with you and Cyrus come together for this show?
Cyrus approached me with the idea. He wanted to have a local artist contribute at the show and we had already been talking about some future projects together. His photographs were taken on location in Australia, while the ones I'm exhibiting were taken in Southern California. The idea would be, to somewhat parallel the film, which is about two different cultures within the surfing community. Also, the Surfindian space has a lot of wall to fill.
How did you choose which prints to show at Surfindian?
I'm trying to paint a picture with the collective of photographs on display. I'm just an average guy who likes to travel and surf more than anything. I find it very spiritual. I like to surf alone and take a break from society and immerse myself in the ocean. I've lived and traveled all over the world, and I've always found it difficult to put into words my experiences when talking to non-surfers. The photography is a way of showing people what it's like to be a surfer... the beautiful and majestic things you see, on just any given day, on your way to the ocean.
I have also been preparing for many months for a solo show in
How long will your show be up?
About 3 weeks.
Whatever t-shirt is on top in my drawer.
What are you going to wear to the show?
Under the Sun trailer
Reception at 7:00pm, Film begins at 8:00pm
UPDATE: Ryan's photos from the show available here. I already picked out my favorites.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
There were a lot of surfers out and tons of people and dogs enjoying themselves.
And that was the ending to the epic day. Thanks for reading such a long post. Let's go make stuff.
Friday, September 05, 2008
Elasticized stretch sharkskin!
As Frank Gifford, in the $7 webbed belt style, says, it gives more than it gets.
Jerry West wears crossed belt loop stretch, about $8.
Bobby Hull is in the button tab stretch, about $6.
Raymond Pettibon, 1989, serigraph
Surf Guide Magazine
The Surf Enthusiast's Monthly
December 1964 / Fifty Cents
winter preview / sunset beach and rincon
Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
Do you want to know the most awesome day I have planned for tomorrow? Wake up. Run before it gets too hot. Head to Frisco with Jay to attend a Make Something class with Thomas Campbell. Get some tacos or a slice at Escape from New York. 6:00pm, head over to Mollusk to see Nat Russell's show and eat some of his donuts. Back to the Haight at 7:15pm to see the homegrown Aquaholics at the Red Vic. Sneak beer in there. Yes. It will be an epic day.
Wishing you all surf and love and epic days...jw
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Olá Jair! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for PineappleLuv.
What is your local break?
Santos city is divided by 7 canals, and the best waves break on the canal 1, so, this is where I consider myself a local.
What is your favorite surfboard?
I have a 6’6 that I shaped, that really looks weird, but works very nice... Everyone that sees it, always thinks that “this thing doesn’t work”, but then they try it out and change their minds…It’s a 70’s template, flex single fin glass on.
What is your favorite place you've ever surfed while traveling?
I surfed big Jockos in Hawaii once…that season I had a tattoo in my mind… 4 big bombs, with a long gun…
I loved reading your history on your website and how you started surfing. How did you choose Peru as your first surf trip?
I found that some friends were going to Peru and I was 18 at the time... Brasilians are not used to traveling a lot, like Australians you know… So to me it was a big highlight in my life. I surfed nice waves in Punta Hermosa and went to Macchu Picchu on the same trip. Peru was a culture shock.
How did you start shaping and designing surfboards?
When I was 17, I start to work at the Lightning Bolt factory here in Brasil. I used to cut templates of fins in a big saw machine…kind of scary actually. A lot of times there was nothing to do and I used to sit and watch the local shapers do their job in a thousand boards. One day I bought a blank and asked for some help and did my first board. Shaped, glassed, didn’t sand… and put the fins on…It was fun and rewarding.
In that factory I had the chance to meet Erik Arakawa, Glen Minami, Mark Jakola and the best shapers from Brasil. Then I moved to Hawaii for the third time and my home mate was a shaper and taught me a lot about boards and designs… talked a lot about boards… actually he is from Redwood City, but lived in Hawaii for a long time. His name is Micah Truax. Good man and good shaper… Also learned a lot from OJ Midgett, also in Hawaii. And now I speak a lot about designs with my good brother in faith Bob McTavish on the net.
Is there a shaper you would like to meet in person?
Yes, would love to meet McTavish in person. Only spoke on the net, you know… Would love to meet Skip Frye…so smooth.
When did you realize you were meant to be an artist?
I was more about photo journalism… then I moved to Boston and had art around me a lot… museums, people, Harvard… all this vibe around me that made me want to do a different kind of photography. A photography student that used to work in the same hostel gave me black and white film, and my life changed… From then I never saw the world in color anymore… it’s all black and white for me….
The most influential surfer in Brasil - nicknamed The Cat
Photo by Jair Bortoleto
Was photography the first way you expressed yourself as an artist?
Probably not. I was checking some old stuff from my child times and I found some drawings… kind of funny stuff. Probably is where I found that I was an artist.
Where has photography led you in this world?
Photography allowed me to show the pureness in the imperfection. We are all imperfect and we can show some pureness in our acts and words. That’s what I want to show with my photos.
Tell us how you came up with the vision for Santos SurfArt.
The Festival organizer asked me last year if I want to take care of the art in the Festival, and I got the idea to organize an art show. First one was ok, but full of little mistakes that I don’t want to repeat on the second edition. It was with wood walls, and we printed all the pictures here… after it was done I felt kind of fake… The photos didn’t get touched by the artists, you know…
How has your vision changed or expanded for II Santos SurfArt?
First difference is that all the works are original, and will be sent by the own artist. Second we will have a surf museum. And it’s all love, all free and I have the chance to show top art to all kinds of people. Last one we had on the same time the mayor and homeless people looking at the same stuff at the same time… this is special for me.
You are bringing together art, surfing, a bit of skateboarding, and a surf film festival for thousands of Brasilians to see. What is your biggest hope for this festival?
That people here open their minds to what is going on around the world with surf. Surfers here are more about thrusters and super airs tricks, and they forget about the glide and the soul of it. I want to show the best of art and show that surf is more then airs and competition. It’s all about the love that you feel when you are inside the water.
This year's festival is in a new surf museum. You must be very excited about this!
Yeah! The surf museum is almost ready, and the whole area was designed by a famous architect named Ruy Ohtake. And the whole park has been rebuilt. Everything is looking sick already.
Is it true that your town Santos, is the city where Brasilian surfing began?
Yes. It’s a big controversy between two guys about who was the first, but it was four pioneers that began everything here. Two American siblings, Thomas and Margot Rittscher, and two Brasilians, Osmar Goncalvez and Jua Hafers. They built a Tom Blake type of board from a Popular Mechanics magazine from 1937, and started to surf over here.
To me, this is all super romantic, you know… Controversy, love, angry, waves…. It’s all beauty, and still have some angry discussions about who was the first, but I prefer use that they were 4. The two Brasilians friends already passed, but the American brother and sister are still alive and I photographed them for my book.
Margot is a 93 years old lady. She says that when she’s looking out her window and sees surfers, she wishes she can go and surf, but she’s too old… And some guys here did a Tom Blake replica and when she saw the board, she cried. This is romantic or what?
What would be your "perfect" imperfect day?
Wake up early, coffee, go and talk about God’s Kingdom to people, then comeback for lunch, rest, grab my board and go to a perfect 3 to 4 feet, with good friends, then comeback and drink a beer with my wife Michele and dog…
Does your dog like to go with you to the beach? What is her name?
Melka hates to go out… she is a schnauzer. When we bring her out, she cries a lot.
What is in your CD player at the moment?
Andrew Kidman’s new cd… it’s not that new already, The Brown Birds from Windy Hill… how good are they…. Soulful!
Do you have a secret talent that most people wouldn't know about?
Not really… I don’t have too many talents. I force myself to do everything right, but make a lot of mistakes and I’m very anxious.
What is the worst job you've ever had?
When I got to Hawaii the second time, this guy asked me to work in his house and clean the houses and stuff. He asked me to clean beneath the houses and was full of rats and centipedes…I just held my breath and cleaned that thing… Was very nasty and crazy and I had to do it on my knees…But it was all good.
What was your favorite candy as a child?
Chocolate bar, and still is…
What is the last surf movie you watched?
Innermost Limits of Pure Fun, that Mick Waters sent to me and George Greenough allowed me to screen on the Festival… sick!
I learned on your website that you lived in Boston for awhile and learned to love jazz there. Was there a certain moment in Boston that inspired this passion – did you hear a band in a club?
I used to work in a Hostel, and the buildings around were full of music students. And I could hear people playing jazz… Was a very deep moment in my life and I felt very lonely, but full of inspiration there. And one day I met a girl that used to tune the pianos on the music school over there… How sweet and lovely was that…
If there were a huge thunderstorm in your town right now, what jazz record would you play?
Let's Get Lost, Chet Baker.
Do you collect anything?
What is your favorite home cooked meal?
Barbecue, beer with friends.
What is the funniest thing you saw today?
My dog always surprises me with little things… she makes the funniest moments in my day.
Is there anything more you'd like to say to the readers about the festival or life in general…?
One thing. Next time a Jehovah Witnesses knock on your door, listen to them. The message is that God’s Kingdom is coming.
"The craziest place I have ever been".
photo by Mark Falkenstein
It was an honor to interview you, Jair.
Santos Surf Art – Blog for II Santos SurfArt Festival (Jan. 20-26, 2009): artist interviews and more
Pureness in the Imperfection – Jair's blog
Jair Bortoleto Photography – Jair's Photography website and info on his book