Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mattson Benefit Recap Of Sorts

Waiting to hear about the Mattson Benefit. My sister went to the show and wandered around for a little bit. Took these snaps of my work there. When I read about the thing on Jamie's Pineapple Luv blog, I was making these sorts of drawings daily. I tried to think of seminal surfers I could do portraits of, and these guys were the first ones who popped into my head. (Besides Pat and Tom Curren, whose likeness was, for some reason difficult for me to harness in that style.) Anyhow, I guess these are the guys that work in my psyche. Or were at the moment anyhow. Skip Frye, Nat Young, George Greenough, Rusty Preisendorfer, Donald Takayama and Dale Velzy. All these drawings were made by following the outlines of photos from magazines and such, "no-look" as I don't look down until the drawing is done.


"Hi Todd! I will send an email to all the artists later today to let them all know how successful it was. Todd, the night was a HUGE success. The artists raised a LOT of money for the Mattson family. And the Mattsons were super happy. And -- it was the biggest crowd the gallery had ever seen - over 600 people throughout the night. It was beautiful. Most of the work sold! And I am so pleased to tell you that the guy that bought your pieces was SO happy. I told him about you b/c of course he wanted to know more about the artist - I told him you were a film editor and had made a surf movie...and Jay took photos of him holding your work...so when we get all caught up, Jay will download his photos from the night and I'll put them on a Flickr page and send to all the artists this weekend. Guess what? The dude that bought your work is a good friend of Skip Frye's - and he said he couldn't wait to show it to him. No kidding. I'll get back to updating the blog now. Now that the auction is over, the rest of my summer is going to be smooth sailing! I am going to make a lot of art.

Talk to you soon. Jamie "

Keep checking Pinapple Luv for the officially full story. Should be posted soon.

I haven't surfed with the regularity I crave in years. In fact, the last time I surfed with that sort of near-daily consistency, I jumped ship just as my ability reached its peak, moving into a sort of perceived adulthood with an abruptness that took me by surprise. (Adulthood was, of course, and perhaps remains, some years off.) And yet, as it is with the basic property of the endeavor, namely sitting and waiting for nature to provide, it is a joy to take pride in the small moments. The relearning of basic truths is a hallmark of good education, and my year has been filled to the brim. And this is, I think, what it is proverbially all about. And so it is this last weekend with little fanfare, and probably even littler instant results, that I remembered, after years of forgetting, that if I really want my cut back to have any authority, I have to look at where I want to go. Actually turn my head and look back at the wave behind me, where I want to go. It's embarrassing to admit I forgot that in the first place. But I guess that's how this whole thing works.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Five Things I Relearned this Weekend up in Mastic Beach

1. Cheater fives are good, cheap fun. I always forget to employ the cheater five with as much verve as I should. This weekend I threw down the cheater five as often as possible. Even on the crumbly waves, a little five can go a long way to making a ride interesting.

2. Coffin rides are a crowd pleaser. Right there at the end, where you'd normally do a shore pound nose ride, try laying back for a little dead man. It pleases the old folks and the kids on the beach alike.

3. Cherish the third and fourth rides of a session. For whatever reason, besides the next-to-last ride (which always turns out to be the next-to-next-to-next-to last ride) the third and fourth and maybe fifth rides of a session seem to always be my most "successful."

4. If you don't have any rubbing alcohol handy and you think you got a little poison oak on your ankle, pee on it. It will burn a little, maybe depending on what you ate, but it will calm that poison oak oil right down.

5. Make sure your twopointfive year old gets enough of a nap.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Endless Bummer NY Lunch Menu

Your official guide to the places to eat when you work where we work.

1. The Indian Sandwich Place on Prince & Crosby
Antonio: Massala Deluxe Dosa with no Chutney, Cardamom Coffee
Toddy: Thali Plate with Mango Chutney, Iced Chai

2A. The Italian Sandwich Joint on Sullivan & Spring
Toddy: Anything on Foccacia with meat
2B. The Spanish Sandwich Joint on Broome & Centre
Antonio: Veggie Sandwich, toasted

3. Take Out Sandwich Spot on Prince & Wooster
Antonio: The Little Bite on Wednesdays
Toddy: The Avocado Sandwich on Thursdays

The Macrobiotic Restaurant on Prince & 6th

Both: The MacroB Plate

5A. The Mexican Place on Kenmare & Lafayette
Antonio: Moros y Cristianos
5B. The Cuban Joint on Elizabeth & Prince
Toddy: Veggie Plate and Sweet Plantains

6. The Vietnamese Sandwich Stand on Broome & Mott
Both: #12 or #13, spicy

Antonio gets an iced coffee to go at Gimme on Mott
Toddy gets a double espresso to stay at Falai on Lafayette

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stoner Scrapbooks at Surfer 1 & 2

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Two photographs, I gather from around the same locale, probably nine or ten years apart. Steven Videau from a Grass is Greener posting in the former, Thomas Woodrum from our previous postings here in the latter. Granted, the photographic and surfing acumen are wildly divergent (sorry Tommy) but the basic sensibility is the same. Small, cruddy waves, point and shoot(ish) 35mm. As I see it, I can relate to these photos. They speak to me in a way that hits my soul. Small summer goodtimes with friends in the water and on the beach having a gas. Goofy stuff. Good clean fun. I'll admit the conceit is rife with a personal inability to cope with the truly outrageous conditions, but every time I see a cruddy wave ridden in the name of enjoyment, I am filled with the sort of vicarious contentment that I don't achieve looking at a monster pit ready to eat someone alive.
- toddy
Tommy always had a lot of stuff. At one point we counted, in the driveway and in the back yard at Summerland, three cars, a motorcycle and maybe five surf boards. Something like that. He also had a massive CD and VHS collection and more surfing paraphernalia than anyone I knew. All this at the tender age of twenty. Or something like that. Memory is a tricky thing. Either way, he had bunches of stuff. He used to work as a summer life guard at some public pool in Chula Vista. I stole one of his life-guard shirts once. Really steamed him. I was always stealing his stuff. In Chula Vista there was some surf shop he managed to work for when he wasn't life guarding and that's where he got all his gear. Boxes of (and boxes) of wax, a collection of rash guards, a couple pairs of booties, for too many leashes. Ian used to call him "Gear Guy." One summer he saved enough money to get a custom longboard shaped for him. It must have been '96. He told the shaper to make him a 9'6" triple stringer classic longboard shape. When he got the board a month or two later, he was dismayed to find it had a pointy nose and glassed in skegs. It was pretty funny to watch him fret over the thing. He was ready for a nose rider. This thing looked more like a 60's Hawaiian gun. Of course the board was beautiful. The lines were immaculate and after a little while grousing (and after finally taking it out) Tommy realized it worked pretty well in ways he didn't expect. For a long time I was the caretaker of that board and I'll say I haven't ridden a better longboard in big waves. Super fun to paddle and the speed is fantastic. Of course Tommy grew to love it. It was just that initial shock of not getting what he expected. Here it is a number of years ago in the back seat of one of the old Trejo Vanagons. I think near Terramar. Damn I love that board. Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Picaresque Screening, Mollusk Surf Shop, Brooklyn, June Somethingorother-

Alright, so I have to be honest right away. That's a little uncomfortable as I usually let all the honesty bits ooze out a touch later in the relationship, but I'm trying to turn over a new leaf and this is an important part of the fiasco. I didn't see the whole thing. The movie, that is. I didn't stick around for the whole film. It's not because I didn't want to. If you read on (and I won't assume you will at this point) you'll notice I think quite a lot about what I did see. The fact is, Juliette got hit riding her motorcycle and she doesn't have insurance and they were having a fund-raiser up at Matchless for her at the same time, and I'm not a night owl see, not usually, and so I had to cut out because god-damn if Juliette isn't great and doesn't deserve everyone's support. So there you go. In the end I reckon I got to see roughly half the film (the first half) and for an added extra bonus I got to talk to Mikey DeTemple on the bounce back (see Mish Mash film in the previous post.) The review will likely be compromised in other ways as well. Mostly because it will be short, glowing and short (I only saw the first half, remember) and I don't possess the probably necessary mental catalog of surf films to have any real shot at surf academia. I mean, if you don't read any more beyond that last sentence I'll understand. I mean, I am surprised you made it this far. So here we go. As far as surf films go I figure there are a few types. Narrated ones with modular story lines and descriptive, sort of winkingly bland voice over. Slash and dash wall-to-wall sorts accompanied by a sonic montage of SoCal-type punk crescendos, pausing momentarily for comical interludes of sorts. And then there are the other kinds. I can't remember what they are. Real documentary style kinds. Or sort of historical 70s kinds. Or some other sort I can't think of. Doesn't matter. Picaresque doesn't necessarily fit the genre categories I can think of. And that's a good thing. The closest it comes is to the modern Taylor Steele sort (Type B) or the 70s groovy ones (Type D). But it falls a good bit short of those. And by short I don't mean to imply a bad thing, rather an editing technique. As far as I can tell, Picaresque is the product of filmmakers who aren't inspired by point and gawk methods used by the standard wall-to-wall action video. With odd angles and lighting scenarios, continuously (and surprisingly relevant) editing and a photographic canniness I've not found so consistent in the surf film genus, Picaresque is one of those films I won't need to cut into pieces so I can play it on my iPhone on the subway ride to work. Nope, it is good enough as is. As far as the music goes, it was totally other. No SoCal punk, no post-folk, nothing so expected. Just one anthemic and fitting rock tune after another. And the longboarding is exceptional and the locations are interesting. Just totally, totally enjoyable. I'll buy it. I'll play it for my son in the morning before school. And as I said, I'll stick it on my iPhone untouched. And that pretty much says it all. To me.

High Seas Films

Late Spring Early Summer Mish Mash Long Island Hoozie Whatsit

Gilgo, Ditch Plains and the Picaresque screening at Mollusk. The lately thises and thats.
Los Indios Tabajaras on guitar.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Nominal Surfy Art Shows (or a Journey To Managing Expectations)

A few days ago, Antonio and I walked over to the Clic gallery on Broome before lunch to view Sea, Surf and Sun, a nominally surf art group show. The ensuing lunchtime chat made me think I might pen my very first art show review. This being my first foray, I'll say this right off the bat I don't generally put a lot of thought into the quality of curation of surf art shows. Usually it's an interesting enough thing to witness what constitutes surf art by another's estimation. I should also say, right off the bat, that perhaps this isn't a surf art show at all, and I am just projecting that moniker into a space filled with surfboards, surf photo books and pictures of watery things. Maybe there is simply a surfy component to the show, as the show's title spells out. Despite all of the obvious inadequacies of my research, I'll stick with this as a review of sorts of a surf art show. This is the parameter I guess I get to set. First off, in this vein, I'll say the quality of the work is top notch. The prints are clean, the compositions are compelling, and the nude swimming girl is indeed quite nude.
Tony Caramanico, long time Montauk surfer and Peter Beard acolyte holds the show together on the surf tip. His large framed prints (and rice paper surfboard glassed-in prints) of pages from the collage books he has constructed detail a life spent surfing, wandering and free-associating. They are worth the look up close and big. There was once a full-time Peter Beard exhibit that lived down on Broome in Soho. It was regular stop during my first handfull of years in New York. I'd walk in there every few weeks it seems. I could see a similar show, with careful consideration, happening with Mr. Caramanico's collage books and an assortment of boards and nicknacks from a lifetime of Montauk living. It wouldn't be a waste of space. Antoine Verglas' black and white photographs are a thoughtful rumination on the dry often overlooked at the beach. The perspective is insightful especially sitting next to Jean-Phillipe Piter and Wayne Levin's lushly aquatic underwater photos. Burton Machen's focus experiments with waves are calming then unsettling, some of these works capturing a sense of reminiscent movement, a nod to the perspective of the paddle. Hidden in a corner are some more surf-collage pieces by a sixth artist unheralded in the show notes, an apparently late addition from an artist working in France.
Now, the lunchtime conversation. Over a plate of yellow rice, black beans, sweet plantains and sauteed spinach, we found the the critical question about the show was the selling of what was basically a regular group show emphasizing aquatic things as a genuine surf art show. One feeling we came away with is that it was a product of some surfing friends getting together one night over a bottle of wine, deciding that they should have a surf art show. As only a couple of them actually produce surf content in their work, they figure the rest of the stuff really probably ought to have something to do with water or the beach. The other feeling is that the bookstore part of the gallery has a few extra copies of some Leroy Grannis and Ron Church books in stock and needed to figure out a way to move them. Either way, the thing feels a little less satisfying than the sum of its parts.
There are always the pitfalls in talking art. The classic conundrums of taxonomy where taxonomy is not invited. But there are definitely some alternatives to taking a bunch of watery work and lumping it together with some surf books. There is the whole (for lack of a better description, and this is sad) Thomas Campbell Mollusk pushed aesthetic. Squirrely line drawings and bold solid designs. This is a movement of sorts. There is also the aforementioned single show of Tony Caramanico work. Depending on what peripherals could be attained, that would be pretty invigorating. Recently we saw a neat photo show next to Mollusk in Brooklyn that held together nicely based on the quality of the surf photography. There are certainly ways to make a surf art show work. This one just doesn't fit the bill so well.
The Clic Gallery was kind enough to let me take some pictures, even extending the invitation to come back and take more photos and attend the opening. The work is worth a peek, especially given the confines. That gift horse shouldn't be looked in the mouth. They also have a handful of great photo books on sale, as well as a show catalog of Tony Caramanico's work for twenty five bucks. I'll probably get one of those myself.
This has been a test of the Endless Bummer NY review system. This has only been a test. If this were a real review, written by a smarty pants, it would not be on this blog.

Clic Gallery

Late 90's Pics

My friend recently posted some pics of some surf trips he'd taken over the years & it got me stoked to look at some of my old pics. I didn't scan these pics! I actually took photos of them on my phone & did a little bit of restoration work on them in Aperture. That's why they appear a little soft! Hope you enjoy them...keep rippin' ya'll...Gustav.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Clic Gallery : Sea, Sex & Sun

Always a shocker to walk down the street in New York and see something like this. Probably shouldn't be.
I'll be heading down there today to check it out. What a pleasant thing to look forward to.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I am lucky enough to be a part of something outside myself, for people I've never met. Sometimes an opportunity arises at the right time to take a chance on something. Jaime Watson clued me in and I was in the midst of these sorts of things, so I figured I'd try to help. One must keep one's mind wide open. I have been guilty of tighter things lately.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

Life keeps going. Good things happen and bad things happen. Sometimes you feel like shit, sometimes you feel like a million bucks. Some people don't have somewhere else to go. I feel lucky that I do.