As featured in our exhibition – The Surf Show – Tales About Surfing.
Please click here for the exhibition catalogue.

For eccentric surfer, artist, musician, board builder and muscle car-tinkerer Brian Bent, the past resonates in actionable ways. Bent builds and rides pre-WWII-style kook boxes. He builds primitive Hot Rods from scratch. He plays reverb-drenched garage rock that would’ve made the teens at the Rendezvous Ballroom stomp. And his wardrobe consists mostly of blue-collar, Marlon Brando-esque staples (cuffed blue jeans, white T-shirts, leather jackets), personally altered with punk rock aesthetics. Meanwhile, Bent’s artwork has lately veered into nostalgic territory, as well. A fervent consumer of surf publications since childhood, Bent has recently taken to painting SURFER Magazine covers from the mid-60s. Over the years, Bent—who cut his teeth painting interior displays for Becker Surfboards storefronts–has developed his own idiosyncratic painting style. Working fastidiously and using bold, expressionist strokes, Bent’s paintings evoke an augmented reality that brings to mind the works of Ralph Steadman. In reinterpreting SURFER magazine covers, Bent gives viewers a new lens through which to revisit singular moments, fleeting feelings, and defining styles in surf history. As Bent illuminates iconic surf world ephemera, there’s a very Warhol-esque, pop art aesthetic at play, too–the covers as surf-world iconography that resonate with, or are at least recognizable to, generations of surfers.

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