Art show fuses cultures

Free exhibit features works that take influence from surfing and motorcycle cultures.

December 18, 2008|By Alan Blank

A single exhibit at tonight’s art show at the Hurley warehouse in Costa Mesa says it all.

It’s a surfboard with a set of 4-foot-tall motorcycle handlebars attached to the top of the deck and a fin on the bottom that’s made out of a saw blade.

The board is accompanied by a wetsuit with a zipper in the front and a patch on the back, made to look like a classic Hells Angels denim jacket.


It pretty well sums up the mixture of surf and motorcycle culture that makes up the life of Scotty Stopnik, the show’s curator.

For Stopnik, who surfs for Hurley in promotional videos and advertisements, it’s all about image. He says he has always been into fashion, wearing tight pants and fitted jackets even before they became trendy.

“I used to get comments like, ‘What, are you wearing your sister’s pants?’” Stopnik said.

The Westside of Costa Mesa is ground zero for a movement in the surf fashion industry that’s changing the stereotype of swim trunks and baggy sweat shirts to a more fashion-conscious style that conflates surf culture with an urban lifestyle.

Almost all of the major surf companies on the Westside — RVCA, Volcom, Hurley and others — host art shows, concerts, parties and the like.

Tonight’s free show, which starts at 7, features custom-designed surfboards and motorcycles with a vintage look. It is open to all ages.

Stopnik, his brother and his father designed several of the pieces. They call themselves the Cycle Zombies.

“It’s like a ’60s, ’70s chopper show meets a surf gallery with art pieces,” as Stopnik describes it.

Embracing other cultures, like the rebel biker lifestyle, helps the surf brands increase their market share, and also offers a more well-rounded culture to those who partake in it, according to Stopnik.


WHAT: Art show and concert

WHEN: 7 tonight

WHERE: Hurley’s warehouse, 1945 Placentia Ave., Building B

COST: Free for all ages

ALAN BLANK may be reached at (714) 966-4623 or at

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