In my opinion, Ozzie Wright’s the most influential surfer currently living.
Now you might attribute that statement to post-Splendour in the Grass gushy exhaustion—of which there’s been plenty in the last few days—or to the fact that the first time I met Ozzie he was totally awesome and we jumped off and swam through the Warriewood blowhole together—scene of the infamous opening of his section of the seminal classic Doped Youth. But I’m standing by my statement. Here’s why: Seen the uniform of pretty much every surf cowboy from Melbourne to Byron Bay (and a selection of the Gold Coast), and Southern California (the ones that avoided the flat-brims and Flojos)? Op shop band tees, long hair, ripped denim etc? That was Ozzie. Short, stubby boards that actually work in shitty waves—Ozzie again. Self-deprecating, fun as hell surf music. Yep, Ozzie (along with the rest of the Goons of Doom obviously). And of course, the reason that we’re here today, his art. Both on boards and on the canvas, Oz’s easily the most replicated surfer/artist currently breathing.
As a tribute to the great man, The Slow in Bali is opening its doors this weekend for a show that’s sure to be a hell of a good time. Ozzie’s been furiously painting for the last two weeks, and the art that’ll be decorating the walls features Ozzie’s signature wacked-out, colourful, humorous wares. If you happen to find yourself in the Island of the Gods this weekend then we implore you to head along to no. 97 Batu Bolong in Canggu at 7 pm on the 29th. Go pay your respects to a man who changed the very fabric of the bizarre hobby known as surfing.