Year: 2022
Publisher: David Zwirner Books
Scope: book design
Printer: Conti Tipicolor
Format: 305×229mm
Pages: 204

︎︎︎ The content makes the design


Artist Raymond Pettibon is known for his characteristically enigmatic aesthetic and sharply satirical critiques of American culture. Though drenched in cynicism, his work empathizes with the dizzying madness of our own humanity as it engages both so-called high and low culture. Perhaps most poetic among the many motifs present in Pettibon’s oeuvre is the surfer. In 1985, Pettibon began his series of surfers and waves – which he continues to work on to this day – popular for depicting a lone surfer silently carving “a line of beauty” along an impossibly large wave. 

This book spotlights a selection of more than one hundred surfers from the series, from smaller monochromatic works on paper to colorful large-scale paintings applied directly to the wall. For Pettibon’s protagonist in these works, surfing exists apart from all else. Momentarily he achieves sublimity on the wave, distant yet synced with turbulent reality. We are forced to confront our own scale: small and feeble in the face of the power of nature, what is beyond our control. We therefore chose a large format for the book.

With texts by Jamie Brisick and Brian Lukacher, and contributions by Emily Erickson and Stephanie Gilmore.

Point Break is included in our case study ‘The content makes the design’.

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