Mellow Yellow

Artist: John S. Culqui, Long Beach

See It
Opens July 20 at the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach. On view through Aug. 17. 411 Olive Ave., 714-960-3483,


Culqui, a first-generation American, grew up in an artistic Ecuadorian family; his mother designed dresses and his father was a master jeweler. He also grew up going to beaches and skateparks, and his surf-themed art evokes his memories of those times. An architect by training, Culqui has been painting for 15 years.


Culqui works on canvas, fiberboard, or wood panels. Once a painting is done, he details it with heavy lines using a paintbrush and pens. He works in acrylics, paints quickly, creating several pieces at the same time. “My technique may seem unorthodox to a trained painter, but it’s what comes naturally to me.”


“I started generating this type of art in 2008. I had just been introduced to surfing a few years before and fell in love with the aesthetic, shape, and soul of it. I’ll paint my surfing session or what I saw that day out on the water as a sort of journal.”

>>Online Only
Browse a gallery of John S. Culqui paintings

This article originally appeared in the July 2011 issue.

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