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Photographs by Moses Berkson

The myth of surfing has done as much to advance the sport as to destroy it. From Gidget to Stussy, each generation of marketers has subsequently sold out the sport to masses yearning for the liquid myth and its resulting treasure chest of youth fantasy. But at its core, surfers understand that the site-specificity of surfing is what needs to be protected—not the resulting myths or fantasies.

While surf photographers focus their lens on the myths of wave riding, bikinis and eternal youth, Moses Berkson covers the improvised secrecy of surfing’s territoriality—the engineering of paths that lead to places where surfers find their oblivion. Not only does he ignore the myth, he completely extracts it from such discourse, leaving only the context of his own experientiality.
A key formal construct inherent in Berkson’s images is his ability to evoke the most ephemeral moments of the environment’s perennially varying qualities of light, thus engaging the viewer to question his own notions of actuality and space as well as universal temporality. By rooting out the myth through the formalism of landscape, Berkson’s work both maintains the self-imposed marginalization of these locations and bypasses the detriment of modern “cultural” branding.
Berkson’s first solo U.S. exhibition, Coastal Access, is a document of the photographer’s ongoing relationship with his home state of California. Recognizing that regionalism is ultimately a socially constructed notion, Berkson incorporates intimations of localism and physiologically recluse spatialities of non-places vis-à-vis emerging contentions of authenticity, artificiality and conflation in his captured moments. 

Without disclosing the locations of these elsewheres, he manifests historical apocrypha amidst the proliferating breeds of the feigning and the desiring. 
Moses Berkson was born in Bolinas, California. After studying at San Francisco State University, he relocated to New York City where he worked as assistant to photographers Hiro and Craig McDean. In 2003 he exhibited works in Rome, Italy and continues to work around the world. Berkson currently lives in Los Angeles.

The Constant Gallery, an experimental space, focuses on the visual intersections of culture(s) throughout globalization.

The Constant Gallery presents 
Coastal Access: Photographs by Moses Berkson
Exhibition Dates: November 1, 2008 through November 29, 2008

Opening Reception: November 1, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Location: The Constant Gallery, 2673 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034


October 25, 2008 - Posted by | Art Exhibitions, Artists, News, photography, raw art gallery, sports, Surfing | ,


  1. You can dress it up however you like, but the photos are still… BOOOOORING! I’ve been around this guy Moses more than a few times and he is exactly the type of privileged, spoiled, snobby art kid from the rich side of Bolinas that I thank my lucky stars every day that I am not.

    Comment by David Goliath | February 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. That guy is a bummer. Every time I’ve seen him he’s always been really negative and angry. Turns out his grandmother was a famous fashion person in NYC and his father is one of the New York transplants that helped ruin Bolinas way back when it had nothing to do with being ” beatnik ” or ” bohemian ” because it was too busy being unpretentious and real.

    Comment by Former Acquaintance | February 13, 2009 | Reply

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