M: So getting back to your exhibitions, one recent show you’ve had was titled “Water,” how did that relate to surfing?
T: I like it to be connected to surfing, but I don’t want to do a surf show, surf is not really going in museums and that’s not really my thing. But I saw that water was the thing. The gallery is a physical location in Southampton. Seeing the local artists from our past and how they were influenced by water or how water influenced their work, that was the guideline or curatorial view of the show.
We had a Willem de Kooning lithograph in the show that was titled “Sting Ray.” That was his vision of water, it didn’t look like a sting ray, it was very abstract, but that was his view of a sting ray and he was relating to water in that sense.
I like looking at the history of artists from before our time, and I like putting them with artists from this time. We had a beautiful William Merit Chase from 1898, and that was cool to have three centuries of artists in one group, because time is also very mental. Time is something our brains have developed as a clock. This time as a clock is very limiting; you can feel like you’re running out of time. In reality time is euphoric, time goes forever, the past and the future and the present is very connected. So it was great to see a painting from 1998 next to a work specifically made for this show by Yung Jake. He had those three Fiji water bottles, essentially "Mali Water,” named with the iPhone emoticons. That was amazing to see a William Merritt Chase (he had an old painting of Shinnecock Bay, which is right around the corner from here) next to the Fiji water bottles. Everything is very commercial these days, it’s not like some open field, it’s fucking products, it’s material, it’s plastic, you know, his piece said a lot about the show. I loved seeing those two artists work together.
It wasn’t so much about surfing, that show, but I guess in a way it was. Jamie DePasquale, he’s a big surfer out here, and he had some shore breaks that were painted in his work. They related a lot to a Fairfield Porter that was in the show that I borrowed from the Parrish Art Museum. Jamie made this piece a couple years ago. The Fairfield Porter was made in the 60s and he wasn’t a surfer (I don’t think). He was showing the whitecaps, he was showing this checkered sky patterns. Jamie had this checkered sky pattern and these white caps too. There was something that was very relating about both of them. Whether he’s a surfer or not a surfer. Whether it’s in the 60s or not in the 60s. There was this relations and I like to see it.
appeared in WAX issue 5 Summer 2014, "Immediacy"