Surf’s Up, Art’s Up in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone

‘Double Up’ at the Former Surf Museum

Brian Lotti, Evening at Surfrider | Credit: Courtesy

The surf’s up and so is the art. My Pet Ram presents the surf-themed pop-up Double Up at (where else?), the former Funk Zone site of the Surfing Museum. 

Named for the surf term “double up,” which refers to when two swells merge together to form a single unpredictable wave, the exhibition — done in two parts, or “waves,” of painting, sculpture, and photography being switched up after a month-long show — is curated by Marcello Ricci, former executive director of the Arts Fund. 

Todd Weaver, The Pink One

Ricci, who grew up in Santa Barbara, has spent the last four and a half years in New York City, opening My Pet Ram art gallery on the Lower East Side (mypetram.com) and featuring artists such as Robert Otto Epstein, Meg Atkinson, Skye Gwilliam, and Inga Guzyte. Those last two names — Gwilliam and Guzyte — will be familiar to locals, as both artists have ties to Santa Barbara as well as internationally.

Dan Levenson, Frankl Locher, 2022, oil and graphite on linen, 47 × 33 inches

“I always hoped to eventually do shows in Santa Barbara, and this summer, I will have the chance to do some programming in the space that used to house Jim O’Mahoney’s Surf Museum,” said Ricci. “I have been working on a show that honors that surf history and also references the geometric designs found throughout the space.”

He continued, “The domain of surfing possesses many potential streams of comparison for abstraction.” For example, in Nick Irzyk’s paintings, wavy cells of gritty color blanket a shallow three-dimensional space with skin reminiscent of the surface tension of the ocean. And the appendages in Zuriel Waters’s “Fever Bloom” evoke a metamorphosing surfer’s balancing limbs.

In addition to Waters and Irzyk, the two-part show’s “First Wave” (on view through July 31) features work by Merrick Adams, Sean Anderson, Bradley Biancardi, Jes Cannon, Nicholas Cueva, Matthew F. Fisher, Matthew Fischer, Damien Hoar de Galvan, Dan Levenson, Brian Lotti, Giordanne Salley, Jake Sheiner, Sarah Schlesinger, Gillian Theobald, Todd Weaver, and Aaron Wrinkle. The “Second Wave,” with a second set of work on view, breaks on August 5, with an opening reception on August 12 from 6-9 p.m.

Double Up by My Pet Ram (16 Helena Ave.) is open Wednesday-Sunday from noon-7 p.m. all summer. 

Matthew F. Fisher, From Above Within, ink and collage on paper

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