ANDY DAVIS, Artist Profile


Artist Profile:


California, USA


Uno dei più rispettati ed innovativi “surf artist” della California.
Il suo amore per il mare, il surf e l’arte.

Biografia e opere



Hi, my name is Andy.
If someone had invented a 25-hour day, Andy Davis might have had a website a year ago. But everyone has a choice to make. Andy’s is drawing, surfing, and spending time with his wife, Ashley, and their son, Noah. Much preferred options for a guy who admits he can barely send an email. If you’ve ever been stuck at a desk, then you know what he means. There are just other things Andy wants to do. In fact, Andy Davis knew from a very early age what he wanted out of life: to surf and to draw. Since then, his colorful, original artwork has found a growing audience through public and private shows among the surf culture elite, filmmakers, and musicians around the world.
On being a professional artist
“In the beginning, I wouldn’t even have called myself an artist. I just sort of started relaying my journeys on paper. The ideas kept spinning, so I’d do my own interpretation of them…. I never thought I’d make a living at it. It just sort of started coming together that way… when I started getting a response from people I didn’t know. In the first couple of years I recognized everybody who wore my shirts … and then it started to snowball. Then I realized that maybe people were connecting with this in some form. “That was the rewarding thing. To feel like I was giving something back.”
On the environment
As in THE environment. THE sky. THE ocean. Rather than carrying a big sign that says, “WE CARE,” Andy and friends simply, quietly do their part for the planet. “It’s tough because you can easily be branded a hypocrite,” Andy says. “The fact is: we all need to be educated about what’s going on. There’s an awareness now that people are tuning in to. Like a lot of people, I’m just trying to be more self-sufficient and do the right thing.”
On what’s important
“Having a child has taught me to be more patient, not so selfish. You no longer have a choice.”

Artist Background

Growing up
Aren’t all artists in some way a reflection of where they grew up? Fullerton, Dana
Point, Escondido, Encinitas. A swim coach for a father. A mom who encouraged his
budding art and an abundance of good friends. “Friends were everything to me,”

Andy says.
“Coming from a broken home, it was about connecting with friends, riding bikes,
listening to music.” Never far from the ocean, Andy felt the lure of water from the
very beginning.
A self-described “sports fanatic,” he indulged in the opportunities afforded by the
ever-optimistic southland weather. Little league, youth soccer, then high school
water polo, and then leaving it all behind for surfing.

Catching the Surf Bug
At age 12, Andy put a surfboard in the water and the rest of the world fell away.
“Once I discovered surfing, I pretty much dropped everything else – except art.”

Armed with a surfboard and sketchpad, Andy’s travels have taken him around the
world. 26. His journeys to Indonesia, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Italy, Mexico, Australia,
New Zealand, Japan and outer space, “when I ate a batch of weird cookies once,”
have been as much voyages of self-discovery as they have been about surfing.
The understanding that life can be simple — and meaningful – has always been
there for the artist. But traveling around the world brought home the concept about
not only depicting a world in harmony, but living within one.

Artistic Style
Artistic style described by the artist himself: “Loose and dreamy, fun and fancy free
the way I think we all should be. (I have been reading lots of Dr. Seuss to my son
The art of Andy Davis is about moments. Perfect moments. A roadside cactus that
greets intrepid voyagers, beckoning you, its arms pointing due south. Andy would
be the first one to tell you these moments are personal. Some can’t even be
described in words. Which probably explains why Andy draws. Why he rearranges
the view, the order, the perspective, the color. Because every time you look at
something, you see it in a different way. A flush of emotion. A burst of happiness.
The lure of adventure.
Through his singularly unique fusion of mass media and surf culture surrealism,
Andy Davis leaves nothing out of bounds. As the artist puts it, “Anything is fair
game: billboards, photographs, a hike on the beach, music. I’ve always sprinkled
my art with little pieces of the things I love.” With a style described as loose,
whimsical, and dreamy, subjects blur and blend, always evolving, touching the
subconscious. Surfing, scenes of domestic bliss, and yearnings of adolescence are
filtered through Pop Art colors, bold lines, and an elegant simplicity that evokes
simpler times, without sacrificing warmth and humanity.
As Andy says, “I’ve never been able to help myself. I’ve fused all my loves into one
thing… little pieces of my life that I self-consciously put back in the art. I’ve always
been thankful for the people who came before, who touched me. They’ve given me
so much, and now I have the opportunity to bring all of that into my work.”

It starts with a sketch.
Andy’s second grade report card might have said: Andy loves to draw.” Or, “He
doodles constantly. If he doesn’t have his sketchbook he draws on a napkin, or a
bag, or the sand. Of course, there’s Andy’s side of the story: “It’s something I’ve
always done. My mom always encouraged me. She’s an artist herself. From my
earliest memories, whatever I was doing – sports, walking down a street, going to
school – I always had to come home and draw whatever experiences stuck in my
mind. It was a way to look at things I’ve done and see how I could do them better.
In some ways, it was to see how I could make myself a better person.”

Shacking up.
Although Andy’s work always starts with a sketch, where the final result ends up is
often another matter. On a recent trip to Mexico, the artist and friends embarked on
a mission to dress up abandoned chicken shacks and outhouses, where the only art
critics were farmers, police, and local families. “The first one was a little scary,”
Andy says. “We did it in the middle of Ensenada in the middle of the day. It’s hard
to know what the locals will think, but there’s always that thought in the back of
your mind that the last thing you’d want to do is spend an afternoon in a Mexican
jail for painting a picture.”
Guerrilla art aside, Andy’s mediums vary. He works with found objects, canvas,
wood, silkscreen on textiles, sewn objects, paintings on surfboards, record covers,
pen and ink, watercolor, even scrapbooks.

On why faces are missing from his paintings.
“You may notice none of the people have faces. But it’s really supposed to be
about the feeling. It’s your interpretation about what’s going on there… Maybe it’s
me – maybe it’s you. And that’s it. It’s a part of me and my friends, history, other
photographers, other people, other places – all put into a blender. You can take
what you see and make up your own concoction….”.

Exhibit at Surf Indian, San Diego, 2008

Press contact for Andy Davis &
Bobby Knudtson | 714-625-9646 |


Revolt Surf Journal