The Black Party

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.