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.

Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker

Another talented individual who submitted work to the final stop of the tour in Santa Cruz, is Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker.

What did you know of Jack O’Neill & his iconic look before submitting your work?
I started surfing at the age of 12 in 1980, and O’Neill, as a brand and as a man, was always part of the “rebel surfer” thing to me.  He was always the badass old dude that made the best wetsuits.  He was the guy I’d see pictures of in the surf shops and in the mags., and I’d think “that gnarly old guy kinda looks like my grandpa” (who was a member of the original Long Beach surfing club in the 1930’s/40’s). My nephew Ian Crane is part of O’Neill’s surf team right now…so my connection to O’Neill runs deep!

What mediums do you work with?
I like to use all  different kinds of mediums…I paint in oils, use collage, photo transfers, spray paint, house paint, stencils, salvaged wood, salvaged windows, sometimes even surfboard resin in my mixed media paintings.  I have also been creating spatially extended versions of these mixed media creations via three dimensional assemblage pieces, and large scale gallery installations.
What do you call your style of art?
The street/gallery artist Augustine Kofie coined a term that I think kinda fits my work too “Vintage Futurism”.  In my work I like to show an appreciation for the past, and give new life to old objects, while keeping a firm visual root in the present day, and an eye toward the future.  
Are you classically trained?
I did get a BFA degree in painting from Cal State Fullerton, but I think the majority of my training came from a lot of trying things and a LOT of failing.
Where would you like to see your piece eventually hanging?
Jack O’Neill’s house!
Where can we see more of your art?
I have show at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City , CA opening in February of 2013, or at www.skibsart.com