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Julie Merian

Surf Artist

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Julie Merian

South of France

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I am living in the South of France, in front of the sea, and I surf Mediterranean waves, which people often find hard to believe.

The winter on the Mediterranean coast brings storms, brown waves and grey skies. I am painting what I am actually living. I am working on two main concepts; the environment and how media covers the surf community.

I would define my technique as hyperrealistic. I am using different shades of grey, black and white. I am employing this photographic style to point out the use of concrete and the over construction of the coastal area, the pollution of the sea and the problems involved by a densely populated shore. Grey is the color of urbanization. All the chromic spectrum being represented within grey, it is a complex color, just like urban development problems are.

I am not taking part in Pop surf art and I am not interested in the usual surf mediatic coverage. Another kind of surf does exist! Surfers generally dream of a perfect turquoise wave and hot water… I think a lot of surfers have a brown and cold surf spot they call home, just like I do. It is too cold to only wear a bikini when I surf. Surfing is not only about the cool and free behavior; used by brand names, TV or magazines. On the peak, there can be violence among surfers. Just like in gangster movies (Tarantino's for example), surfers wear black wetsuits, sun glasses, they speak and behave toughly… I am using cinematographic centering. The image of eternal tropical surfing bores me (even if I like old school surfing too).

Whatever you do, no matter how you do it, surfing is always a mystical experience. That is why I often use several canvases which is commonly used in religious art (diptyque, triptyque…).

I believe the human being and the elements connect through surfing. My work is ambivalent. I use a classical technique and I am concerned with modern topics and contemporary issues.