Pat Tenore’s “Exit Through The Surf Shop” Offers Timely Industry Commentary Amid Boardriders Sale
Tenore milled about outside the gallery during the opening reception of his exhibition “Exit Through The Surf Shop,” which he curated with Casey Zolton of Known Gallery in Los Angeles.
“’Exit Through The Surf Shop’ is a great forum for all these different people in the community to come together,” Tenore told SES in-between greeting friends. “It’s very authentic and people can have a good time, check out some artwork, have some conversations. Some of these people I haven’t seen for 10 years, so it’s good to connect with everyone.”
The exhibition, which runs through Aug. 6, is located at Ancillary Studios in Costa Mesa, which was previously occupied by a Sears Auto Center.
Work on display include photos by Estevan Oriol, a lowrider ice cream truck by Mister Cartoon, work by Retna (née Marquis Lewis) decorating the flooring of a boxing ring and MMA cage. Elsewhere, show flyers were posted throughout the space depicting tombstones in the water with the logos for RVCA, Billabong, DC, Hurley, Quiksilver, Roxy, Volcom, and Body Glove and the words “That’s All Folks.” Standing spray floral arrangements, similar to those used for funerals, included one that read “End of An Era by PM Tenore.”
“That’s an artist’s interpretation,” Tenore, who is listed as RVCA brand president on the company’s site, said of the “End of An Era” sash’s meaning.
The brands on the tombstones operate with a licensing model, or will be soon when Authentic Brands Group officially acquires Boardriders at the end of August. That deal includes the Billabong, Quiksilver, Roxy, DC, Element, and RVCA brands.
Still, Tenore maintained the exhibition isn’t meant to be a reference to the acquisition.
“This has nothing to do – my life isn’t dictated by what they’re doing. I’m just doing me,” Tenore said.
“I think it’s very relevant; we belong in the conversation, but I don’t look at it as a knock on Body Glove,” Meistrell said. “Core surf shops are very important to us as our family still owns and operates Dive N’ Surf, one of the first surf shops in the country. This year Body Glove is celebrating its 70th year in business and we continue to see amazing growth with our brand. Body Glove is still partially owned by my family; there are two, third-generation Meistrells in executive positions at the company – myself and my cousin Jenna Meistrell.”
Meistrell offered his thoughts to SES Friday, ahead of the opening, and said he was looking forward to visiting the exhibition over the weekend.
A spokesperson for Hurley and parent Bluestar Alliance declined comment Friday on the exhibition or the reference to the brand in the show. Hurley founder Bob Hurley, who is no longer associated with the Hurley brand, posted the tombstone flyer on Instagram Friday with the statement “The landscape is changing…future vs past!!! The truth!!!” He later deleted the post.
Spokespeople for Volcom and licensee Liberated Brands, along with Authentic Brands Group did not respond to a request for comment.
The pending deal has created an air of uncertainty in the broader business landscape as it relates to jobs, licensing arrangements, and how future distribution will be handled under new ownership.
Boardriders employees were informed earlier this month during a company town hall the sale’s closing date would be pushed back by a month to Aug. 31 due to the regulatory process in Australia, sources at the company told SES. The town hall also included an announcement on the licensees for many of the brands, with the RVCA license expected to go to Liberated Brands.
“I’m just doing me,” Tenore said when asked if his plan is to be at RVCA long term or if he’d start a new project. “In today’s day and age, I just want to see people support each other. That’s all. Open communication. Everyone just needs to love each other a little more instead of getting wrapped up in something that doesn’t matter. Tomorrow I’m going to jump in the water with a bunch of friends and that’s what you do – you share the water, and you have a good time.”
Kari Hamanaka can be reached at email@example.com.
Photos from the “Exit Through The Surf Shop” opening reception: