13 December 2007 - 23 March 2008
Art Gallery of New South Wales
These surf paintings are about style: surf style, art style and the birth of cool.1
Scott Redford 2007
For his first exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland artist Scott Redford presents a series of surf paintings. He adopts the materials that create surfboards to produce monochromatic paintings, some embellished with images. Dragging art history into popular culture, Redford’s new series of ‘surf’ paintings represent the visual and social culture of the Gold Coast and focus on the dissolve between high and so-called low culture. He was born and raised there and is now based in Brisbane.
What attracts me to Surfers Paradise is that no matter what is said about it, it will always be both less and more. It will always exceed and disappoint our expectations. It is a sort of rebus or mirror. It can be projected onto and reviled. It is both beautiful and a whore. Utopia and dystopia. You get the picture. I think it’s ART.2
Redford’s AGNSW Contemporary Project, Blood disco, comprises seven large surf paintings. Redford commissioned some of Australia’s best surfboard-makers to create works manufactured in a similar way to surfboards. Made from resin and fibreglass his surf paintings often include figurative elements such as high-rises and palm trees. They play out a dialogue between two aspects of art history – Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. And in doing so, the surf paintings emphasise the idea of ritual, of art-making and wave-riding; the ritualised practice of honing your skills to experience the biggest and best wave, and the quasi-religious status of painting.
1. Artist’s statement, 2007.
2. Quoted in Brett Adlington, 'Gleaning And/Or Proposing', The content of these paintings is secret known only to the people of Surfers Paradise: Scott Redford and the Gold Coast, Gold Coast City Gallery, 2005.
Level 2 AGNSW Contemporary Projects are supported by Andrew Cameron