Ben Brough is one of the most authentic, talented, raddest guys I know. He lives his life full force, doesn’t care what other people say, is insanely intelligent and knows so much about the world–especially the art world–but doesn’t give into one iota of the pretentious nature of it. He’s a family man, can shred a wave like nobody’s business, he’s got a million famous friends, just made a cameo appearance in Jamie Heinrich’s new film Mach 9 and has had his art in a variety of high profile surf art shows at home and abroad. But he’s always down for meeting new people, hanging out and traveling, and making rad art–putting it all out there for us on paper and canvas. We need more Ben’s in this world.
Children of the Wave is a first step into Ben’s latest project, Lonely Slider. Taking a slight departure from paintings and collage to make sure we remember where we came from, Ben has been working on a story line about an illustrated group of surf punk kids from the desert who call themselves “The Cactus Club.” They live out in the desert shooting guns and generally messing around until they know when the waves are good. When the swell hits they jump in their van and go surf till the waves are gone, camping out on the beach and tearing it up like savages. They shred so hard their skin falls off, they hang out with pirate dolphins and savage snakes and they generally just don’t care. Children of the Wave is a raucous exhibition of new art that plays with the divine symbolism of surf myths and pirate folklore mixed with Ben’s own recipe of Saturday morning cartoons, punk rock, and beer.
Ben’s good friend and fellow artist Craig “Skibs” Barker talked about the new work as
a kind of free rein exploration of the feeling you get, being a wild youth and ditching school because the waves are pumping and the Santa Ana’s are blowing. If Wilbur Kookmeyer took The Lost Boys, Ratfink and Beavis and Butthead on a surf trip to Mexico that would only scratch the surface of the trip that Ben takes us on.
Ben chose the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum to host Children of the Wave. A perfect place to do it–the museum is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of the past, present and future of surfing. A who’s-who of the art world, established and emerging– came out to celebrate with Ben. Alex Weinstein, Andy Moses, David Lloyd and Rob Havassy mixed with Craig “Skibs” Barker, Schoph Schophield, Taylor Reeve, Nick Simich, Jamie Heinrich, and so many more. Dano Forte’s Juke Joint Freak Show provided music & Huntington Beach provided an art walk under the stars. Filmmaker Jamie Heinrich/9000 Wolves put together a video short of Ben – check it out at this link!
Children of the Wave will be up at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum through May 17th. Ben Brough will be part of a Surf Gallery retrospective at Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow Laguna Beach in June 2013 and is a part of a secret surf art documentary under way this summer.
Children of the Wave
Through May 17, 2013
Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum
411 Olive Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92468
all photos: Jamie Heinrich