Nearly 700 people
including celebrities, New York socialites and a host of East Coast surfers
descended upon Milk Studios in New York's Meatpacking District on Saturday
October 15 for the Surfrider Foundation's first ever Art for the Oceans
Auction. Master board shaper Al Merrick created 35 6'2" fish surfboards which
were sent to artists around the globe. These artists were asked to paint,
sculpt, draw or in some other form turn the boards into art. The results were
simply astounding. In addition, surf pioneer Herbie Fletcher shaped a 12'
full-gun which was then painted by world-famous artist Julian Schnabel. This
board fetched the highest price for the evening at a whopping $75,000. Other
highlights included works by Raymond Pettibon, Wolfgang Bloch, John Van
Hamersveld and Melinda Morey. The auction was conducted by Simon de Pury of the
Phillips de Pury auction house and the evening's festivities raised over
$320,000 for the Surfrider Foundation. After the auction guests were treated to
a musical performance by New York based recording artist Citizen Cope. Notable
sightings during the evening included actress Mena Suvari (American Beauty),
director Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), models Amy Wesson and Bridget Hall,
record industry executive Damon Dash and fashion designer Tracy Feith. Apart
from the money raised, the event signaled the "planting of Surfrider
Foundation's flag" in New York City and provided a definitive answer to the age
old question "Surfers in New York? Really?"
Read more about the event here.
Fashion designer Tracy Feith stands next to his work. His fabric-based piece was beyond "one of a kind"... it was "once in a lifetime". To the left is Michael Cassidy's work celebrating Polynesian culture.
Wolfgang Bloch's piece was another stunning work. He cut a 6'2" fish surfboard into small pieces, submerged them into resin rectangles and pieced it all together to create a serious multi-media work that seemed to have more and more detail to it the closer and longer you looked at it. Wolfgang is also in picture, second to the right.
The event had a backdrop of films, statistics and other educational materials illustrating why Surfrider Foundation exists. All at the event left with an increased awareness of the battles taking place to protect our oceans, waves and beaches.
A subset of the hundreds that came to the "Art for the Oceans" event left with a piece of artwork that will most probably never be replicated.
To be sure, all that came left knowing that Surfrider Foundation's flag is planted in NYC.