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Original Surfboard Wood Cut Print 4'x7' "Vessel"

Original Surfboard Wood Cut Print 4'x7' "Vessel"

$ 4,500.00


Hand printed copper and black Large 4 foot by 7 foot wood block print on heavyweight Canson 250 gsm Bright White paper.

This print is an original one of a kind print, hand printed from hand carved wood. 5 prints in total will be made from this wood cut, each with its own unique colorway.

The artistry of this wood block print is found both in the process and the object. The consistency and violence of the ocean is emulated through the carving process. Just as ocean waves of different sizes, shapes and directions crash ashore, carving out the shape of the coastline, the artist's knives, gouges, and chisels strike the wood planks carving out the shape of the surfboard. Over time, with the violence of this repetitious movement, a form is carved from the formless.

The significance of the surfboard itself is in the surfboard's meaning to the surfer. It is the vessel that takes the surfer into the sea. It is his object of reverence, the conduit through which he experiences the power and passion of the sea.

The printed surfboard is the record of the seas influence upon the life of the surfer. The years spent at sea shown in the lines of the wood grain. The golden high moments of well ridden waves and communion with nature, closeness to God, and the dark moments of long paddles, poor conditions, hard falls and missed opportunities.

The size of this art pice is also significant. Like surfing, the carving process is physical and, at times, fatiguing. Even the printing process itself is taxing. Because the art is hand printed all of the pressure must come from the artists hands. A hand held burnishing tool is used to press the paper against the board. The tool only measures about 4" round and in order to successfully transfer the image while the ink is still wet the artist must hurriedly run the burnishing tool over the entire surface of the surfboard. This all out sprint and the accompanying muscle exhaustion is not unlike the feeling of getting caught inside by a set of waves and having to relentlessly paddle towards the horizon. Once the burnishing is completed and the paper is pulled up from the printing plate revealing the printed image, the feeling of joy at the success of the print, after all of the hard work is not unlike the joy experienced at the end of a well ridden wave. 

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Southern California artist Matthew Allen’s multi-disciplined approach has allowed him to explore his creativity in many different fields. The former Surfer Magazine art director has also spent time as a clothing designer for The Ryde and currently works as a freelance illustrator and designer. Matthew’s artwork speaks to his infatuation with the sea, the waves that move through it, the people who ride the waves, and the vessels they ride.