Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol portrait surfboards
By some strange twist of fate in 1968, the paths of eleven-year-old surfer Tim Bessell and pop art phenomenon Andy Warhol, intersected in La Jolla, California where Warhol was filming San Diego Surf.
Brillo surfboard (based on Andy Warhol’s mid-sixties work, “Brillo Boxes”)
The Last Supper surfboard (from “The Last Supper” series by Andy Warhol, 1986)
Although the film would go unseen for 43 years, Bessell had the unique opportunity to observe Warhol and his muses up close during his formative years. According to Bessell, Warhol lived only two blocks away from him during his time filming in La Jolla and that the artist himself even ended up purchasing surfboards from Carl Ekstrom (the inventor of the asymmetric surfboard and snowboard), who was mentoring Bessel at the time.
Too young to understand the sudden culture explosion surrounding him, Bessell was content to be a curious observer, but the experience would go on to help frame his future as an artist. After graduating with degrees in Art and Architecture from San Diego State University, Bessell and Warhol found themselves rubbing shoulders once again at a mid-80’s party at the Playboy Club in New York. Bessell shared his childhood recollections of when Warhol’s “freak show” invaded his sleepy, hippie surf town during the Summer of Love. He says that this chance meeting “opened his relationship” with Warhol and ultimately led to his collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation for a decadent line of surfboards, all bearing Warhol’s unmistakable artwork.
“Marilyn” (Warhol’s portraits of Marilyn Monroe done in the weeks after her death in 1962)
“Elvis” (silver tone) and “Gun Metal Elvis” surfboards (based on “Double Elvis” by Andy Warhol, 1963)
“Mao Zedong” surfboard (from a series of portraits of Mao done by Andy Warhol in 1973)
More after the jump…