WOLFGANG BLOCH Back In The SURFER Spotlight
“One look at his paintings and it’s apparent that Bloch has an inherent filter to block out the unnecessary and accentuate the essential. It’s through the practice of such selective inclusion that Bloch has cultivated a refined style of painting that is entirely unique – yielding pieces that highlight simplicity and perfection while simultaneously evoking a thoughtfulness that is rare in surf artistry. Wolfgang works with mixed media, constantly evolving along with his work. He creates a work of art that is at once inspiring, emotional, authentic, complex, and simple.” – Brad Melekian
What are some of your earliest memories of getting involved with art and painting?
Ever since I was a kid, I always liked art. There was something about it that intrigued me. I loved going to museums and galleries; I specially liked large paintings. I always tried to figure out how they were done. When I was a kid I loved to draw. It wasn’t until much later when I was in college, when I actually developed a passion for painting.
Are any of your family members artistically talented also or are you the solo artist in the family?
I’m pretty much the solo artist in the family.
Who were some of your inspirations while you were establishing your own personal style?
I can’t say that I looked at other artists for inspiration. I’m inspired by nature and by what it brings us.
Do you have any unusual techniques for getting the wood you incorporate in your pieces?
I prefer using materials that most people think of as junk. They already have so much texture; it’s like they have stories to tell. Just like an old piece of furniture. I’m always cruising through construction sites taking what they throw away.
How long would you say you typically spend on a painting from start to finish?
It depends, sometimes it’s easy and it all comes together and other times it’s a struggle from start to finish. I like working on several pieces at the same time. That way if I get stuck on one, I’ll set it aside and work on something else. If things are flowing well, I’d say about a week for small piece and about a month for larger pieces.
How was the adaptation of moving from Ecuador to Florida?
Very difficult; everything in Florida is so flat.
East or West coast?
I love California. I just wish that there wouldn’t be so many people here. Maybe they can all move to Florida.
How did you first get your foot in the door in the surf industry?
I targeted Gotcha as soon as I got out of college. I really liked their ads and their forward thinking, design-wise. I was lucky enough to get an interview with Michael Tomson and later a job.
What advice would you give an inspiring artist or student who one day hopes to work in the surf industry?
Always be an individual; do your own thing and stay true to it. You have to differentiate yourself from everyone else. That’s what got me the job.
How would you compare your paintings to your advertisement and graphic work?
It’s completely different work. I have a passion for painting. Design work can be fun, but I’m not passionate about it.
Where has your surfing inspired artwork taken you around the world?
I’ve had shows in Brazil, Japan, England and I’m currently working on getting a show in Ecuador, where I grew up.
Where do you see the surf industry and surf art headed in the next 10 years?
It’s hard to tell with the surf industry. In regards to surf art, I hope that some day it will be taken seriously; there are some really talented artists that never get the recognition they deserve. Things have changed in the past 7 years and I hope they keep going in the right direction.
Has the popularity of the reality TV shows that take place in Laguna affected your feelings about living there?
Funny you ask that! Things have changed a lot in Laguna since I moved here in 1989. It goes beyond the popularity of a TV series. It’s definitely not the same place I fell in love with.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully living somewhere secluded; surrounded by lots of trees, clean water and clean air. Away from all the Orange County madness, working out a small studio and still inspired by life.
What’s your favorite quote?
Only when the last tree has died,
and the last river has been poisoned,
and the last fish has been caught,
will we realize that we can not eat money.
What’s on your ipod?
Everything; I love all kinds of music. Jon Swift, Beck, Ben Harper, Jorge Ben, Iron and Wine, Carlos Gardel, the Shins, Manu Chao, Neil Young , Mana, Alexi Murdoch, Ray Charles…
What’s in your quiver?
Fish, fish, fish, bonzers and a couple single fins.
Lefts or Rights?
Where’s your dream surf destination and who would you bring?
Anywhere with warm water and no crowds with closest friends only.
A sample of Wolfgang’s art work is being shown at the Diane Debilzan Art Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA July 13 – August 26.
Diane Debilzan, the owner of the Gallery, is very excited for the opportunity to show off such a beautiful mix of Laguna Beach contemporary artists. “You know some people might not realize his art portrays a seascape because it’s somewhat understated but I think it’s beautiful. There is a very nice mood to his work.”
To see more of Wolfgang’s art work please check out: www.wolfgangbloch.com