The Black Party

posted by / Blogs, Editorial / April 18, 2011

Barry McGee installation at MOCA for Art in the Streets.



Being amazing is exhausting. No sooner had I come home from the White Party in Palm Springs, laying my black Dior coat over an under-stuffed armchair, than I had to go to the opening party for Art in the Streets at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary, downtown LA. I put on my black YSL suit, exhausted, and drove north. With my gorgeous babe. In her white Porsche. Exhausted.


Art on the shelves in the streets, MOCA.


Art in the Streets. It is the first major U.S. museum exhibition of the history of graffiti and street art and it filled the gargantuan space with all things streety. Or arty. And it was the party of the season. Everyone was there from Gwen Steffani to Gavin Rossdale to Banksy to Neckface to Mister Cartoon to Andrew Doheny.


Droid shows up so many places, you’d swear there were four of him. Photo: Taras


Yes! That Andrew Doheny! The one who surfs in Newport Beach for Volcom and plays music and is totally arty himself but also has a super above average frontside finner. He slumped against a wall splayed in ghetto scrawl and looked tired but a tired born from living well. I understood, innately. He looked at home.


Art on the walls in the streets, MOCA.


And amongst the gangsta clowns and skulls and Louis Vuittons, surf also looked at home. Broken surfboards were used as part of an installation, leaning up against a wall and on top of a panel truck. An animatronic man, wearing a gray hoodie, stood atop the boards and made his mark on a facade. Craig Stecyk III photographs lined one wall. Photographs featuring the Dogtown kids cutting back on Venetian surf, blond manes flowing behind them and as tan as chestnuts. A featured artist, Risk, used to tag SURF all over his school and WIPE OUT on his desk until the school busted him down town. Then he changed his tag to Risk. But SURF was still his first. His special.

Around one bend in the exhibition, in a room filled with black-light sensory pop, Pamela Anderson wandered and we locked eyes. She made eyes at me, those big blues. But my gorgeous babe was well hotter and better dressed, wearing an electric Stella McCartney, so I squeezed her and felt smug and no longer exhausted.

On the way out we ran into Danny Fuller.

Surf is always at home. —Chas Smith


Chas Smith is a SURFING Magazine writer and professional bon vivant. He is said to reside in Cardiff-By-The-Sea, California.



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  • joe

    Being amazing is exhausting… you mean Being doucie is exhausting

  • Lame

    Chas, if you are so fucking amazing then why aren’t you on the Dream Tour? Why aren’t you a fucking movie star or rock star who really has money- and really gets hot chicks? Why don’t you have any real, actual, visible undeniable talent? And why are you stuck writing a lame column for some shitty surfing magazine? I guess writing is a nice way to escape reality…Keep pretending if it makes you feel better. Loser

  • Fred Hemmings

    Surfing Magazine: please only post articles about surfing. I am literally embarrassed for your publication/website.

  • jd

    @Lame hahaha! Because of douches like you, the comment segment is always worth reading. Thanks Chas Smith.

  • Atticus

    Christ on a bike! Some of you dudes are deadset deadbeats. Go have a look at the amount of comments each article on Surfing gets. Who’s winning? Chas Smith… an R.K. Slater margin. Every time you tell Chas how ‘doucie’ (nice work, Joe) he is, he wins again!

    All media publications love a media circus. And Chas Smith is the Surfing Ringleader.

  • BadNews

    Surfing only continues to publish this embarressing surfless drivel because it gets such a reaction — ie COMMENTS — from all you haters. If you truly hate Chas, stop reading…and he will go away. This is my final comment.

  • wetsuit

    Sounds like you are everything I strive to be one day.
    If I could only wander to the “happening get-alongs”, maybe this would affirm my status as an elite member. I have brought my surfboard inside to events like this one just to let everyone know that I surfed. Walking around with one board in one arm, and my babe in the other… I call this “the stack.” They see me as a surfer and a social gem.
    The black Dior jacket sounds good, although I prefer tweed.
    I prefer to dress up like Payne Stewart and say absolutely nothing at these kinds of things and feel my accepted role as a unique snowflake.

  • yeah guy

    Chas: if this whole “writing” thing doesnt pan out, you can always following in this guy’s foot steps… being that it already sounds like you are heading in that direction…

  • peterT

    You know…. You do have the option not to read these things? It does say in the lead in “posted by Chas Smith”. Otherwise, admit you seriously just can’t get enough of Chas. I actually enjoy his posts, so I read. Why waste your time typing up a hate worth 100 words?

  • Jay

    At first it did seem kind of witty, but now its getting old. Chas is trying too hard and has lost anything original to stir shit up….Im just glad he stopped using his cheetos covered fingers quip. However, a quip would classify as something clever and so would a Chas.


    By reading this article you have just officially kissed chaz smiths ass…..And if you got far enough to read this comment you have officially kissed my ass too. HOLLLLLLLLA

  • doucie

    Chas Smith is the only thing worth reading in surfing right now. Fo reals.

  • yo!

    Keep it up haters! Keep going on Chas….. Great!

  • carlsbad high.

    Seriously people? Seriously? Stop saying this isnt about surf. Its all about surf. Finally something new.

  • Barry

    @Atticus – If we spent as much effort on these comments as Chas does kissing his own ass Surfing might have more than 5 readers… And you might have a point 😛

    I’m getting tired of you guys telling us how we should all just say nice things about Chas or nothing at all… Well, maybe if Chas was a nice guy himself…. but, nah – He’s an arrogant, conceited, superficial, nasty little tard… Now maybe secretly you wish you could be as up front as he is about it, and you find yourself vicariously living through him. That’s fine…. there always will be people like you in the world and I guess you need to defend your right to be yourselves… even if that sucks…. See the truth is, without the hate most of you jokers wouldn’t read Chas either….
    @PeterT(ossend)… – A 100 hate words are the only reason to read Chas and you damn well know it – either that or you are the kind of guy that found the TV test pattern endlessly fascinating as a kid….
    And the saddest truth is that for sand lice like Carlsbad High this is the best show in town… There’s a kind of morbid fascination watching it all go down the crapper and maybe that’s all we have left to offer now… No matter how great surfing is, once it becomes a job, people get sick of it on a certain level.

  • Steven Hennings

    as long as chas writes i wont click on your ads.

  • Emperor Mack

    You rule Chas. All the haters are so boring in their Ripbillahurleycom shorts. Thanks for kicking the hornets nest.

  • Joey Stalin

    andrew looks tired because his feeble brain is overworked from trying to contemplate how his legs work. What im getting at is he is an idiot. Poseur.

  • dirk

    chas is literally the only reason why i come to the surfing mag website. without chas, I can’t imagine any instance when I’d visit this site. More!