Surfing in the arts

  • Veröffentlicht am 15.06.2019 10:00

Surfing is no longer just a sport. Surfing is a lifestyle that we encounter again and again in the strangest ways in our daily lives... for example in art! Today's guest contribution by Sigrid:


The 1st big wave of (art) history! Who of the passionate or even occasional surfers would not like to surf this wave?

You can see the "Great Wave before Kanagawa", which the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai printed around 1832. Basically, he was less interested in showing a special wave than in depicting the holy Mount Fuji - this small, 25x37cm woodblock print was one of a total of 36 views of the mountain. The famous mountain, almost 4000 meters high, appears like a tiny little cone almost in the center of the picture, but in the background, in a wave valley.

The superhuman big wave overlooks the mountain and seems to swallow the fishermen in their boats - if they are not very skilled. The spray acts like sweeping fingers reaching for the fishermen. The fishermen duck in their boats, seek shelter and move with the waves.

Two forces of nature meet each other and people - a theme that not only moves the artists again and again. What significance does the sheer height of the mountain still have when a mighty wave is stronger after all? How can people save themselves from the force of the wave? 



The surfers love the big waves - not without losing their respect for them.


p>>To make things a lot more relaxed it opens up and the next (art) wave approaches: Who doesn't know this from his childhood: the table becomes a boat, the curtain becomes a sail...and that's the perfect illusion.

The English photographer Tim McPherson makes this his principle. He recreates natural phenomena from everyday materials and lets children ski in living rooms on snow-covered mountains built after them, dive into water made of curtain fabrics or surf on a tablecloth threshold. If that's not a good dry run!


These are just two examples of artists who have waves or surfing as inspiration for their works. It's nice when you don't always have to go to the beach to look at the sea and the waves lost in thought or watch surfers throw themselves into their next adventure.


If you want to know more about the artists and these works, have a look here: