German artist Katharina Grosse is best known for her paintings that use whole environments, landscapes, buildings or interior structures as their canvas. Color is what substantially determines her work. Its anarchic, energetic capacity unfolds in the form of abstract clouds, stripes, marbling, and coatings of color spray-painted across spaces denying their spatial boundaries. It exposes an additional dimension of reality: a pre-verbal articulation that arises from physical experience, movement and perception.
For Parley for the Oceans, Katharina Grosse produced 20 individually painted surfboards. The surfboards are constructed from sustainably sourced wood, reducing foam, resin and fiberglass use. These boards unite the worlds of art and surfing as a messenger for the cause. They are a symbol and a call for the eco-innovation, creativity and collaboration that can protect our oceans. The surf community is equally vital to the mission as the artists, as they know the oceans like no others.
Grosse herself once compared the perception of her abstract color-environments with her bodysurfing experience: “It’s an amazing feeling to swim through swirling underwater sandstorms while the water shapes the land.” In this sense, the erratically painted surfaces of these works can be seen as a reverberation of the enigmatic and dynamic character of the seas. What usually is hidden, now becomes form and color, realigning connections with the world.