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In Damian Fulton's art, the urban landscape collides with the surfer's world of the coast, fusing his inspiration from the comic world as well as monster movies and cartoons from Disney. "I made a choice to try to do what interests me, which is what my life is, one foot in L.A. and all the mire, that congestion and intensity that's there, and the other foot in the ocean and how do those two work together." Fulton continues, "I always try to do something beyond just a pretty picture of a guy surfing or a nice beach. There's something thought-provoking, pulling you in a little more than the first impression."
Fulton grew up in Orange County riding his Schwinn Stingray to the sands of Huntington Beach, spending day after day in the waves. But also during his childhood, he developed a love of drawing with inspiration from comic books to cartoons.
He eventually ended up at Cal State Fullerton playing volleyball and painting his way through college working on custom vans and murals. Ocean Pacific hired him out of school in 1982, commissioning him to create the poster for OP Pro Surf Contest. His comic strips were also hitting stride with "Radical Rick" in BMX Plus Magazine, which ran for 15 years, and "The Shred Brothers," which ran in "Snowboarder" magazine. He's directed commercials for big advertising giant Ogilvy and Mather, developed animation for Marvel Productions and painted for Disney.
Fulton continually worked on his personal paintings until a gallery owner saw his work. "Mark (Waldman, who is the owner of Gasoline Gallery, El Segundo, California) booked me and after my first show said, "I'm booking you for next year.' I was absolutely blown away that most of the stuff sold. That was to me a total bonus." Fulton added, "My latest work has a much more playful attitude about it. I think it still draws you in, but last year I was painting so much in private and separating myself from my corporate side, the stuff was pretty dark. This year I'm just trying to lighten it up a little bit. It's not as angst."
Waldman said he hopes to continually exhibit Fulton's work because he's the "real deal" through surfing and having art running through his thoughts. His work is timeless, sometimes appearing vintage and others walking the line of futurism. "I knew immediately after Damian's first show with us that we wanted to exhibit him annually, and we will from here on out.".
The above are excerpts from an article by Michael Hixon, The Beach Reporter