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Please join My Pet Ram for the opening of Double Up’s Second Wave on Friday, August 12 from 6-9 pm.
My Pet Ram has up shop for the summer in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone to present Double Up, a group exhibition showcasing painting, sculpture and photography which amalgamates the stringent retentiveness of abstract geometric art with the sinusoidal exaltations of waves and surfing. Borrowing the term “double up” from what happens when two swells merge to form a single unpredictable wave, this two-part show celebrates both the history and aesthetics of My Pet Ram’s temporary outpost, a space that was for many years known as the Surfing Museum.
For almost four decades, Surfing Museum founder Jim O’Mahoney filled this beach-adjacent location with his unique collection of surf memorabilia. The museum housed rare surfboards, including a one-of-a-kind “hot rod surfboard,” vintage skateboards, skate competition trophies, guitars, ukuleles, photographs, and surf magazines in a Polynesian-inspired setting crafted with reed-lined walls and hand-painted designs. Before the district became known as “the Funk Zone,” O’Mahoney dubbed the Surfing Museum’s aesthetic “tribal funk.”
Included in the shows are works by Merrick Adams, Sean Anderson, Bradley Biancardi, Jes Cannon, Nicholas Cueva, Matthew F Fisher, Matthew Dale Fischer, Damien Hoar de Galvan, Nick Irzyk, Amy Kim Keeler, Dan Levenson, Brian Lotti, Giordanne Salley, Jake Sheiner, Sarah Schlesinger, Gillian Theobald, Zuriel Waters, Todd Weaver, and Aaron Wrinkle.
The domain of surfing possesses many potential streams of comparison for abstraction: In the paintings of Nick Irzyk, wavy cells of gritty color blanket a shallow three dimensional space with skin reminiscent of the surface tension of the ocean. Aaron Wrinkle’s POT confronts us with a biomorphism resemblant of a monster wave doubling over onto itself with crushing force. In Dan Levenson’s Frankl Locher, translucent circles seem to rotate around one another like tide-altering celestial bodies. The appendages in Zuriel Water’s Fever Bloom may evoke a metamorphosing surfer’s balancing limbs, and Jes Cannon’s work conveys the transcendence of surfing through a shell-like logarithmic spiral. Alongside these abstract works reside representational counterparts; images of waves, surfers and beach life. In a tiny yet heroic work on paper, Matthew F Fisher depicts a wave’s crash frozen in flat space, surfers in Todd Weaver’s 35mm photographs seem to revel in their immanent pictorialization, big sets looming offshore in Sarah Schlesinger’s seascapes rumble with a sensitive materiality, and a quintessential beach scene is rendered with breezy panache in Brian Lotti’s Evening at Surfrider.
Summer in Santa Barbara is dreamy with hot days, cool water, and moments suspended. This show hopes to evoke these feelings while accompanying the hand-crafted Bohemian spirit of this legendary space just a half block from the beach in Southern California.
Please join My Pet Ram for the opening of Double Up’s Second Wave on Friday, August 12 from 6-9 pm. The gallery, which is steps from Cabrillo Boulevard at 16 Helena Avenue, will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 12-7 pm all summer.