The Surf Lodge has become an East End summer staple since 2008 under the management of Jayma Cardoso. It’s known for breathtaking ocean views, chic hotel rooms, iconic musical performances, top notch cuisine, and artistic collaborations. This year, The Surf Lodge is pleased to welcome Brandon Boyd as the Artist in Residence. Boyd is the lead singer of the platinum-selling rock band, Incubus, and also happens to be an incredibly talented painter.
His abstract paintings are currently on showcase at the property as well as a large canvas piece that was live painted over 4th of July weekend. Boyd has designed artwork in collaboration with SNL actress Melissa Villasenor and celebrity photographer Brian Bowen Smith which were also on display at The Surf Lodge.
Cardoso, Founder and Creative Director of The Surf Lodge, is a long-time supporter of artists and has always used the hotel as a haven for creative pursuits. Over the years, she has collaborated with and featured and the works of Kenny Scharf, Dustin Yellin, Jen Stark, Daniel Arkham, and many more.
I spoke with both Brandon and Jayma about their collaboration and why The Surf Lodge has become such a special place on the East End.
Brandon, it’s evident that art is at the forefront of your life as a singer, songwriter, painter, and so much more. What does it mean to you to be The Surf Lodge’s artist-in-residence?
BB: It’s so exciting to be working with The Surf Lodge again. Having the freedom and space to sling paint and line work in a location as storied and beautiful as Montauk is a dream come true.
What have you enjoyed most about the Montauk and Hamptons community over the years?
BB: Ya know, it all still feels very new to me. Growing up on the West Coast was pretty great in its own right but periodically spending time on the opposite shore has been such a cool counterpoint. I think what I’ve enjoyed the most is the continuity in the architecture, and the way it doesn’t seem to obstruct the natural beauty of that part of New York. California has some magical locations, but there are only pockets of communities that adhere to an overall aesthetic and it’s entirely different from what you find out there in the Hamptons and Montauk.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your paintings, especially the outdoor stage at The Surf Lodge?
BB: I’m still in the process of really understanding what is inspiring the imagery to be honest. I suppose part of what is fun and magical about art (to me) is that I don’t fully understand what is at play when I’m working. And I’m completely ok with that. So much of our day to day existence is so linear and predictable, I guess I’ve learned to surrender to the process of creativity because it offers a terrain that is still very much un-mapped. I go wandering into the ether, unprotected and naive, and though it can be occasionally perilous it is more often deeply rewarding. It’s almost indescribable. And I’m so thankful for that. All that being said, I do find untouched, natural environments to be deeply inspiring. Overdeveloped human megalopolis’ are also inspiring but in a very different way.
Jayma, you’ve created such a special oasis for residents and visitors alike at The Surf Lodge. Why do you place an emphasis on the art world at the hotel?
JC: For me, the intersection of art, music, and culture is the key to creating memorable experiences at The Surf Lodge. Art is about a lot more than a visual piece. I am not an art expert by any means, but I do know that the story behind the art matters. The story behind the artist matters. And the opportunity to weave art into The Surf Lodge story creates something special. We have had the honor of working with up-and-coming artists as well as recognized art stars like Kenny Scharf, Dustin Yellin, Jen Stark, and Daniel Arsham, and we believe that art and artists will continue to play an important role in The Surf Lodge experience. It’s part of the reason why we were so excited to be able to partner with Brandon Boyd this summer.
As the world heals and people reemerge to social settings, what are you most excited about this summer at The Surf Lodge?
JC: Mostly I am happy that people are coming back together with a focus on positivity and shared experiences. We have dealt with so many challenges in the world over the past 18 months or so and it feels like we are truly in a unique moment to safely come together once again, get inspired, and have some fun. In reflecting on the last year in my own life, I felt it was really important to incorporate a focus on mental health into our wellness program this summer. In addition to supporting not-for-profits like The Trevor Project, we are also hosting a panel discussion in late July with Dr. Sharma and Bridget Malcolm of Model Mentality, a team focused on destigmatizing the conversation around mental health. We all have an opportunity to change and improve the conversation and we are trying to lend our voice and platform to that effect.
How has The Surf Lodge positively changed over the course of the past year-and-a-half?
JC: As was the case for so many, the past year-and-a-half was a time of reflection for me. Being a locally conscious business, it was important to me that we supported our fellow community members; frankly, it’s why we opened at all last summer, even if just for hotel guests and with extremely limited services. We wanted to be able to purchase fish from local Montauk partners and fresh ingredients and produce from the incredible farms on the East End like we have for so many years. This season, we decided that in addition to continuing our locally focused traditions, we would also use our platform to help elevate the conversation around areas such as mental health. Finally, we have been more active in engaging brand partners, artists, and musicians to create new and unique guest experiences.
Why The Surf Lodge and why Montauk? What are your favorite things about The End?
JC: The Surf Lodge is made up of things I love – art, design, music, and of course, Montauk. When we first opened the property nearly 13 years ago, I instantly felt at home; there is just this indescribable magic about Montauk, from the beautiful beaches to the incredible sunsets; I feel so grateful to be a part of this special community.
The Surf Lodge is open Wednesday through Monday and located at 183 Edgemere Street, Montauk. Be sure to stop by to see Brandon’s work in person and experience the many offerings The Surf Lodge has for hotel guests, locals, and day visitors alike. www.TheSurfLodge.com