Catch Waves with These Andy Warhol ‘Marilyn’ Surfboards

Tim Bessell's latest Andy Warhol surfboards, featuring the artist's Marilyn Monroe silkscreen prints. Photo: courtesy the Andy Warhol Foundation and Tim Bessell.
Tim Bessell's latest Andy Warhol surfboards, featuring the artist's Marilyn Monroe silkscreen prints. Photo: courtesy the Andy Warhol Foundation and Tim Bessell.

If you’re looking for more Andy Warhol-themed merchandise for summer, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has you covered with a brand new line of Marilyn Monroe-adorned surfboards from the Tim Bessell Artist Series, reports Complex.

The five distinct board designs are each handmade of polyurethane and feature a different colored Marilyn Monroe silkscreen. Crafted by Tim Bessell, the boards are available for $7,000 apiece from New York’s Gagosian Gallery.

The surfboard craftsman and the artist were, as unlikely as it may seem, personally acquainted. Bessell was part of the La Jolla surfboarding scene in San Diego from a very early age, and it was there, back in 1968, that Warhol shot his only surf film, San Diego Surf. (The lost film was finally completed and released in 2012.) During the shoot, the artist purchased some surfboards from Carl Estrom, a mentor to the then-10-years-old Bessell.

The episode loomed large in Bessell’s memory until, years later, in the mid-1980s, after studying art and architecture at San Diego State University, he found himself at the same party as the legendary Pop artist. On a dare, he introduced himself to Warhol and explained their La Jolla connection, an encounter which, Bessell told ESPN, “opened up my relationship with Warhol.”

The Marilyn boards are the second collaboration between Bessell and the Warhol Foundation. The surfboard artisan first approached the foundation after coming across Alien Workshop’s line of Warhol skateboards. In 2012, a five-piece limited-edition quiver of different shaped boards featuring imagery from Warhol’s skull, gun, camouflage, “Last Supper,” and dance step series was sold at Gagosian from $5,600 (see report from Phaidon).

The Warhol-themed surfboard seems like the perfect accompaniment to RETROSUPERFUTURE‘s “Self Portraits Collection” of sunglasses emblazoned with fashionable photos the artist (see artnet News report). If you want to hit the surf in Pop art style this summer, you’d better order soon; each board takes six-to-eight weeks to produce.


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