60 years of innovation


The most iconic name in the surf industry is celebrating it's 60th year of operation and innovation with a global art tour curated by Monster Children. Starting in Sydney on March 15th, artworks by Thomas Campbell, Geoff McFetridge, Mark Penxa, Jim Phillips Jr, Tim Chapman and Liam Gerrard, along with a plethora of O'Neill memorabilia will be exhibited in a global art and innovation tour. The exhibition will travel through Asia, Africa, Europe and North America, with the final exhibition being seen in Santa Cruz at the O'Neill Cold Water Classic WT surf event in November.



Warmond, The Netherlands - May 24, 2012 - After very well-attended and received tour stops in Sydney, Bali and Tokyo, O’Neill’s 60 Years of Innovation Global Art Tour finally docked in Europe for the first time as the mobile exhibition set up camp at the beach of Scheveningen The Hague in The Netherlands.


 In addition to original exhibits and artworks, the exhibition also presented three local artists, including renowned skateboard artist Ben Deurloo, with an opportunity to showcase their creative interpretations of Jack O’Neill. Ben said: “It’s very humbling to be part of such a prestigious creative event, and I’m just really excited and proud to see my own work on display alongside all the other works of art.”


Michael Heath, Global Marketing Director at O’Neill, said: “In 1952, Jack O’Neill invented the wetsuit and ever since then O’Neill has been bringing innovation to the table. We wanted to look back over our 60 years and really take the time to stop and honor Jack, so all the art on display is really a tribute to the man himself.”


Ole Wolsbeck, Brand Manager at O’Neill Europe, commented: “This was the first European stop of the 60 Years of Innovation exhibition, and it was great to offer spectators at the event an opportunity to experience a retrospective exhibition commemorating our 60-year history and the many innovations O’Neill has championed in that time. The atmosphere on the opening night was electric, and that really set the tone for the rest of the exhibition.”


After the success of its first European leg of the exhibition, the Global Art Tour is now preparing to move back down to the Southern Hemisphere for an eagerly anticipated show in Durban, South Africa - hometown of Team O’Neill surfer Jordy Smith. If you missed the exhibition in The Hague, be sure to get yourself over to Blankeberge in Belgium on July 29 when the 60 Years of Innovation Global Art Tour returns to enthrall European visitors once again.



O’Neill want aspiring artists to get involved in the 60 year celebration & are inviting the public to submit artistic Interpretations of founder, Jack O’Neill. The best 10 received will be exhibited along side the commissioned art works (Campbell, Gerard, McFetridge, Phillips, Penxa & Chapman) at the regional exhibitions (see below for locations & dates).  Upload an image of final artwork, along with medium used and location to oneillart@monsterchildren.com

South Africa (Durban) 5th - 7th July (Opening July 5th at Upstairs Bar Spiga 7pm)

Belgium (During Philips/O’Neill Surf, Skate, Snow & Wake Fest) 28th July

France (Anglet, During Surf De Nuit) 14 - 17 August

California (Laguna Beach AR4T Gallery) Sept 1st - 3rd

California (Santa Cruz, During WT Cold Water Classic Event) Nov 1st - 11th

JAPAN - O’Neill 60 Years Art & Innovation Exhibition.


O’Neill 60 Year Art & Innovation Exhibition touches down in Japan

After highly successful exhibitions in Australia & Bali the global art & innovation tour touched down in the land of the rising sun, Japan for stop no. 3. Held at “The Living Room” in the creative and fashionable area of Ebisu in Tokyo, the venue warmed up with O’Neill affiliates such as; artists,athletes, industry, media, staff and people interested in the rich story surrounding Jack O’Neill and the brand he created.


O’Neill Brand ambassador & exhibition curator Rob Bain had this to say, “I am so happy to bring the exhibition to Japan for a few reasons. One, I was here when the earthquake happened last year and I know many of my friends & colleagues were deeply affected. And secondly, our business here is growing and the team work very hard to produce cutting edge product, I would like to think in a small way this shows a sign of respect for their dedication”. Rob continued, “We are starting to see a very unique feel of art from each region which you can definitely relate back to their individual cultures. This is a really cool thing to see unfold as the exhibition travels the globe, and I am sure Jack is stoked”.


“It was such an opportunity for all of us to look into the greatness of Mr. Jack O’Neill- a founder- and his brand history as well as to realize its delightfulness through launching this promotional event”. said Mr. Miwa , O’Neill Brand Manager Japan, Nikki co.ltd. “Also, knowing its brand tool of wetsuits leads us to expand and introduce more of the lifestyle items to Japanese market as well”. Mr Miwa continued.









What did you know of Jack O’Neill & his iconic look before submitting your work. How did you find him to draw?

Before, i just knew O’Neill as a famous surf clothing brand.

In Bali, surfing become the lifestyle, everybody loves to wear surf-wear even they don’t surf.

Then the invitation pop up and i realize that O’Neill is not just a brand i rushed searching info and picture of Jack on the internet, and wow, he has a very humble yet unique figure with the eye patch , thick beard, and he looks like Poseidon at a glance … “OCEAN MAN” is the first thing comes in my mind OCEAN MAN (O’MAN) represents Jack O’Neill and Bali that’s why i combine the ocean and the attributes (surfer, anchor, octopus, ship, etc) with the modified Balinese traditional carving style about the colors- i trust my feeling. Red, yellow, orange are the perfect mixture for OCEAN MAN- in my humble opinion.

What mediums do you work with?

I work manually and digital, i work both ways to get maximum result., for this artwork i sketch manually on a paper then i scan it and coloring digitally. For coloring i use some painting programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter. Finally, printed on canvas.



What do you call your style of art?

Until now i don’t even care about my artwork style, but i know that i love things with fable and imaginative. I put my portfolio on : www.monezgusmank.blogspot.com



Are you classically trained?

Yes i am,  I studied at Indonesia Art Institute in Bali for 5 years and i reached Bachelor Degree of art .but for digital painting, i learn autodidact from the internet,  especially from art forum.

Where would you like to see your piece eventually hanging?

wherever will be, will be. anywhere can be seen and can be enjoyed.  its a priceless pride to show my artwork to the society. 




BALI - 60 Yr Art & Innovation Tour



After an awesome and well received exhibition in Sydney the O’Neill x Monster Children Global Art & Innovation Tour has journeyed to its next stop, Bali, Indonesia. On Saturday night a very hip and creative mix of surfers, artists & industry turned out to soak in the 6 decades of O’Neill at the newest Seminyak venue Mantra.

The global exhibition again showcased wetsuits from the 6 decades, advertising & brand art work along with the commissioned art works by Campbell, Penxa, Jim Phillips Jnr, McFetridge, Gerard & Chapman which are being auctioned at the final stop in Santa Cruz; as well as an amazing display of local artworks portraying Jack O’Neill and his iconic look.


        Dustin Humpheries, Rob Bain & Tai Graham

"Mantra was jammed" Said Indonesian Brand Ambassador Tai "Buddah" Graham " Were super stoked with the response and the turnout to our first major event here in Indonesia. The mix of people on the night was great and saw all walks of life through the doors. From your everyday surf enthusiast to some of Indonesia’s best surfers, through to top musicians, and of course the contributing artists all there to celebrate the legacy of a true innovator in Jack O’Neill. It was a great sign of things to come for the brand in the future no doubt"


O’Neill International Brand ambassador Rob Bain who set up and attended the event had this to say ” I couldn’t of asked for a better night in showcasing O’Neill and Jack’s amazing story. The Indonesian artists rallied and created some amazing pieces which I am sure Jack would be proud of. It was a great crew that showed, and we are stoked on how the team put it all together.Thanks to the Bali community”.


       Lexi Archer, Brad Gerlach & Tipi Jabrik

Harry Radcliffe who will be co-partnering in a new venture managing O’Neill in Indonesia was equaly thrilled “We couldn’t have asked for more. We are so happy to have been able to show the community and the industry here what O’Neill really is about. It was a great turnout and just the way to bring O’Neill back on the map here in the region. It was also great to see so much support from local artists, musicians, surfers, legends and industry leaders who all came together enthusiastically to celebrate the story of Jack O’Neill”


       Nathan Webster


       Alex Spencer & Celeste



        Jay Taplin, Nick Morley & Wade Goodall









       Reef & Fitty


       Tipi Jabrik







       Nick Riley





       Repo on Nick Morley’s back. All portraits by Repo Photo!


The O’Neill 60 Yr. Global Art & Innovation Tour is packing up and moving directly to its next exciting destination, Tokyo, Japan for an exhibition on Friday 27th April.



After an exceptional response to the first exhibition in Sydney the O’Neill 60 Year Art & Innovation Tour is off to Bali, Indonesia. “I’m really looking forward to taking this exhibition up to Bali after such great success in Sydney last month” said Global Brand Ambassador Rob Bain “Bali has a great surf culture and with the re-launch of O’Neill in Indonesia its a perfect opportunity to show where we have come from and what we value as a core surf brand”. Harry Radcliffe from O’Neill Indonesia was equally stoked, “We are so excited to have the Art and Innovation Tour stop here in Bali. What a great way to kick off and show the local community and industry the heritage that comes with the  O’Neill name.  Bali / Indonesia has a very talented and respected artist community who have enthusiastically jumped on board to get involved in the event. We look forward to a packed event and celebrating 60 years of O’Neill”

So please come along and celebrate 60 years of O’Neill - Saturday 21st April, Mantra from 6pm!

Steve Lees


What did you know of Jack O’Neill & his iconic look before submitting your work. How did you find him to draw?

Before the show i only really knew about O’Neill the brand, but i had no idea about the story/history behind it. Jack was pretty much a perfect subject for my style of work. Quite often I find that portraits need additional elements to give them context or to make them interesting, but this wasn’t the case with Jack. The dude just has so much character that he didn’t really need anything else – i could just paint him like he was. Anyone with a beard that impressive is going to be good to draw.

What medium’s do you work with?

Most of my work tends to be mixed media – I like to build layers and textures by using different mediums. At the moment my main weapons of choice are water colour, ink, acrylic, and spray paint. I also do a bit of digital work and I am also looking at doing some more 3D/sculptural stuff for future shows.

What do you call your style of art?
I never know how to answer this question. Pass.

Are you classically trained?
No. I actually studied graphic design at uni and i still currently work as a graphic designer. Art has always been something that i have done, but it has only been recently that i have put more of a focus on it. I think that the majority of what i know has been learned from trial and error, which in some respects is good because it definitely forces you to discover new things, but at the same time, screwing up a work by trialing something that you think sounds like a good idea can be pretty flattening.

Where would you like to see your piece eventually hanging?
The lighthouse from ‘Round the Twist’. That won’t make sense to anyone outside of Australia, so here’s some reference material:


 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mybg0l2Alaw> 90’s TV was the best.