“I’ve been at the beach forever,” says Herbie Fletcher.
Artwork, like browsing, runs within the Fletcher household blood; it finds them wherever they’re, and the multigenerational group of surfers is rarely removed from the waves. An exhibition of paintings and movie screening lately introduced the West Coast-based household to New York, the place Gagosian mounted a choice of paintings by Fletcher for “The Fletcher Family: A Lifetime in Surf.”
The present is a companion to the upcoming publication of Dibi Fletcher’s e-book for Rizzoli out later this yr, “Fletcher: A Lifetime in Surf,” which compiles the historical past of browsing by way of her husband, Herbie, youngsters Nathan and Christian, her grandchildren, and father, the late iconic surfer, Walter Hoffman.
“I’ve had a lot of other shows but not like this one, this was really great,” Herbie says of the household theme.
Work from the complete clan is on show — there are surfboards by Christian, photographs taken by Nathan, numerous sketches and memorabilia — however the bulk of the present is comprised of labor from 4 totally different sequence by Herbie, with one piece from his grandson Greyson in the primary gallery area. Greyson’s vert ramp sculpture is tucked between two of Herbie’s “Wall of Disaster” items, primarily wall sculptures composed of damaged skateboard decks. Earlier than ending up at Gagosian, Greyson had lugged the ramp to a Decrease East Aspect skatepark; Dibi posted a photograph of him skating it on her Instagram account.
“He likes to make objects — he’s a skateboarder, so he’s around all this stuff that’s being made all the time,” Fletcher says. “It’s all art. Skate pools have transitions and the way they form the pools, it’s just beautiful to look at.”
Fletcher views what others could take into account routine acts — affixing stickers to the underside of skate decks, setting up ramps, portray surfboards, taking photographs of waves and methods — as artwork, and his work serves as documentation of his life-style and the historical past of the surf and skate communities.
“You look at the stuff and then you keep looking at it: you see all these old logos, they’re old pro skateboards and there’s new ones, and they’re all scraped,” he says of the decks that find yourself in “Wall of Disaster.” “But then you talk to the kids and they go ‘Oh that’s so and so.’ It’s pretty cool to see them talk about. I just put them up there as shapes.”
Fletcher’s “Blood Water” work incorporate canvas dyed within the iron-oxide pink earth of the Waimea River in Hawaii; “Connecting to the Earth” are works created utilizing discovered objects from Hawaii. “I take trips, and when I go surfing, I usually bring stuff back to do art with,” he says. Fletcher’s “Wrecktangle” sequence is constructed utilizing damaged surfboards, in an identical vein to “Wall of Disaster.” His first “Wrecktangle” buyer was Julian Schnabel.
His thought to assemble the damaged bits took form whereas he was residing in Hawaii.
“I had a house at Pipeline with Gerry Lopez; it was a three-story house, and when you’d look down every swell after every swell there would be broken surfboards in my front yard. And all the greatest surfers came over to my house. They stashed their boards there and went surfing. So my front yard after a big swell would just look like that big Wrectangle that’s there, the broken surfboards. And so I just looked at them and saw all the different logos and the paint jobs and all the jagged shapes. And I just thought it was really beautiful,” he says. “When you look at all of these surfboards that are all broken up, you can see the whole history of the industry and of surfing. You can see the evolution of it and all the different logos.”
The Fletcher household runs Astrodeck, a traction pad firm began by Herbie. He views his firm as an artwork, too, down to creating the catalogues and clothes.
“My whole deal when I was young was painting surfboards, painting inside the surf shop where you were making boards. We’d paint the walls,” he says. Now he typically creates his work on the Astrodeck warehouse. “It was like doing art all the time. It was just constant, because we’d make surfboards and go out and test them the next day and we’d paint them and have fun. Then it developed into an industry with lots of different companies and different riders riding for different companies. I wanted to work with everybody; I didn’t want to just work with a couple of surfers.”
On July 29, Gagosian and Schnabel screened “Heavy Water,” a documentary about Nathan Fletcher, at Guild Corridor in East Hampton, N.Y. Naturally, the household took in some waves whereas they have been out on Lengthy Island.
“We went surfing at Ditch Plains for a while. It was fun — it was small, but fun,” says Herbie.
The primary attraction was the movie. “It’s the best surf movie that I’ve ever seen,” says Herbie, evaluating it the 1966 seminal surf doc “Endless Summer.” “It’s just a new version, different. It’s all that new technology that’s going on. So Nathan’s movie told a story about him and how he chases big waves, and all his friends and the camaraderie between them,” he continues. “The joy surfing gives you.”