Ken Auster

About the Artist

You cannot separate Ken Auster, the surfer, from Ken Auster, the artist. For it was in his formative years in Long Beach, California, where Ken grew up with his feet deeply planted in the surfing culture, that he first learned to express his art talent. Caught up in the ground swell of the 1960s surfing culture, Ken not only plunged into the sport of surfing but into the art and graphics of surfing as well.

While working his way towards a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree from Long Beach State University, Ken built one of the world’s most prominent silkscreen and T-shirt companies, creating now-legendary surfing art that adorned surfers from Belmont Shores to Hawaii to Mexico. His surfing images, silk-screened as original prints on paper, became the “fine art” of this beach culture, and today, represent the classic surf art of the past century.

At the heart of Ken’s work was always the awareness of the fine line between man-made and nature. Throwing himself into the splendor of “plein air” (on location) painting, Ken discovered the richness and broad colors of the city life he long avoided. As he will tell you, he rejoiced in this newfound ability to paint anything and everything – cafes, train stations, airports, street scenes, and of course, never far away, was the beach, his first love.

With his oil paints and deft use of color, Ken has become an internationally known impressionist. His economies of brush strokes, and his simple, yet beautifully structured compositions make each painting a captured moment in time with a hint of narrative drama. Each is rendered with such vibrant immediacy that a single glance excites other senses as well.