New Surfer Mural Adorns Wall at Entrance to Ocean Beach

by on August 26, 2015 · 22 comments

in Culture, Environment, Media, Ocean Beach

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Part of new mural on gas station wall coming into OB. (All photos by South OB Girl)

Meeting the Artist – Henry Goods – Commissioned by Gas Station Owner

by South OB Girl

Entering Ocean Beach along Sunset Cliffs Blvd., the brightly colored mural on the 76 gas station wall may have caught your eye.

One can’t help but see the new mural shortly after seeing the Ocean Beach entry way sign. On the right — Robb Field and the iconic Ocean Beach entry way sign (newly restored and freshly painted).

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The full mural.

On the left — Dusty Rhodes Park and the 76 gas station wall with a mural depicting two surfers (male and female), a giant wave, and some sea gulls. The mural might appear to be part of Dusty Rhodes Park, but actually is on the property of the 76 gas station at the corner of West Point Loma Blvd. and Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

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The artist – Henry Goods.

The mural is the work of Henry Goods. And upon meeting him, it is clear that his personality comes out in his painting and his painting captures his energetic and vibrant personality.

The owner of the 76 gas station commissioned the mural. Henry has had an ongoing partnership with United Oil painting murals for 18 years. Most of his previous work is in the Los Angeles area, from East LA to West LA and into Oxnard. He has worked on large projects and small projects, interiors and exteriors, corporate projects and projects for individuals.

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Detail of western edge of mural.

The same week he was working on this Ocean Beach mural he headed back up to Santa Monica to work on a mural at an elementary school. I asked him what he was thinking of painting. He replied, “Butterflies.” And gestured with his hands as if he envisioned the wall he would be painting was covered with hundreds of butterflies.

He clearly has an imagination. And that imagination has taken him from his childhood growing up in Compton and Watts to painting all over Southern California.

I commented that the “surfer girl” in his Ocean Beach mural was quite beautiful and sexy. With detail, he explained to me that the only thing sexy is her eyes. He explained that if you cover her eyes, everything else is quite natural and conservative.

And furthermore he explained —

“You have to see her eyes from a distance.”

Henry was given a picture by the gas station owner for the “surfer boy” – who is based on a local young man of Swedish heritage. Henry thought about orcas and dolphins for the mural, but decided against it because of the SeaWorld protests. He went with this fun beach scene, with the two surfers, a detailed ocean wave, and sea gulls.

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Henry Goods’ work in LA.

From the start of the project to now, Henry has worked closely with the owner of the gas station -which is currently under renovation. The first plans he submitted to the owner were declared to be too provocative. He had originally thought about painting two women carrying surfboards on their heads, but the owner decided against that.

Additionally, Henry explained, he was given specific instructions that the man and woman be painted carrying their surfboards in their hands and not on their heads — and was told that real surfers don’t carry boards on their heads. I explained that here in OB you will see people carrying and transporting their surfboards in all different kinds of ways, but carrying by hand is a sensible choice.

Aside from the owner’s personal requests, there were no permits or approval needed for the mural. This is in contrast, Henry reflected, to one project he did at a gas station in Beverly Hills. He said that he, along with a representative from United Oil, attended six hearings to obtain permission for a mural.

I asked him what sort of paint he uses to obtain such bright colors. He responded:

“Plain old house paint from Home Depot… Behr paint for exteriors.”

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Gas station wall at First and Cedar in downtown San Diego.

There is artistry in choosing the colors, and he has a particular knack for choosing them. His flair for color is also evident in his only other mural in San Diego: a mural on a wall that stretches a block long at the 76 Station at First and Cedar downtown. That mural features an under water seascape with fish and sea creatures, as well as tropical beach scenery. All done in vivid, bright colors. It is worth a trip downtown to see.

I also asked him about his technique. He uses a mix of a spray gun for painting and brush work. The skin tone he accomplishes with a specific technique, starting with a white paint base he sprays in the skin tone like a spray tan and contours and shades the musculature with color.

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Detail of eastern side of mural.

If I had not actually met with Henry, I would not have been given the insider tip to view the mural with 3-D movie glasses. Then the mural will “really pop.” He specifies, “The cheap paper 3-D movie glasses, those are the ones.”

I am imagining lines of people in Dusty Rhodes park wearing 3-D movie glasses– what a sight that would be. There is also a particular place on the sidewalk from which Henry suggests people will get the best view of his mural. It will be a little harder to spread the word about that exact spot — but it was a good place to stand for an ideal view of the full mural.

Henry has enjoyed working in Ocean Beach. People passing by him on their way into Dusty Rhodes Park have admired his work and have been very friendly. People driving by have shouted out encouraging things.

He has worked in rough parts of LA where local thugs seem to eye up a wall for tagging while he is working on it. And he has learned to gain respect from kids like that. And here in OB, he has not faced any such individuals “eyeing up the wall” under his watch. Even at night, when he often works with a bright light illuminating the wall. Night time is actually when he prefers to work, he said– in the quiet of the night.

Now that I have interviewed him — if some taggers do tag up his mural — he has given me instructions to let him know and he will touch it up.

His business card reads: Henry Goods, artist, muralist. And underneath that it says, “interior decoration, art work on cars, bikes, tattoo design, portraits.” And on the bottom of his business card is the following saying, “let art interpret your vision.”

Meeting Henry and speaking with him– one can quickly see he has vision and lots of it! He is vibrant and charismatic, full of energy and full of ideas. He loves people and art, and takes great pride in the work that he does. It is not a surprise that he works with cars and tattoos as well. A creative mind that creates works of art with such bright, vivid colors does not stop at walls.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Rocky August 26, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Looks like LA


Dave August 26, 2015 at 10:09 pm

Interesting take – I just noticed it a couple weeks ago, but my daughter has been watching and was the first to inform me the mural was originally supposed to feature two girls, and the guy was a last minute change…


Nathan August 27, 2015 at 9:24 am

Has this artist ever seen a surfboard before?


South OB Girl August 27, 2015 at 10:54 am

It is likely you will find Henry working on the other side of the gas station wall over the next few days… I am sure he would be very happy to meet locals and to discuss surfboards or other topics!!


Rocky August 27, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Why was a local not chosen ????


Don Johnson August 27, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Time to put my 3D glasses to good use! Gotta admit the reflection of the sun off the wave…nice…


ric August 28, 2015 at 12:32 pm

OB has a long tradition of surf “art” …I remember when a group of LOCAL artists (allegedly) “adorned” the OB pier with “surf art” by hanging Nuuhiwa’s broken Fish from the pier with an ice pick buried in it’s deck….E-e-e-e-e-e-e


Guy and girl on the wall August 29, 2015 at 10:00 pm

First of the two are as local as it gets the guys father is old school local as for the guys girlfriend and the woman is a 10 year native and good friends with the guy on the wall so their you go from the mouth of the models and I’m not swedish!


Just saying August 30, 2015 at 12:19 am

Um,what leads u to believe they aren’t locals?????Henry, u know how it is, haters gonna hate. U know that your talent is is unparalelled. U know we love ya!


rocky August 31, 2015 at 11:00 am

local artist no he isn’t


rocky August 31, 2015 at 11:01 am

cant even paint a surfboard


Frank Gormlie August 31, 2015 at 11:54 am

Even so, his renditions of people are very good.


PGR October 15, 2015 at 9:42 am

And real surfers DO NOT wear headbands!!!!


South OB Girl August 31, 2015 at 11:26 am

The interviewer was told in the Q&A with the muralist that the male in the mural was of Swedish heritage. Any additional facts or clarifications regarding the background of the man and woman featured in the mural will be gladly received and added to the story about Henry and his work.


Ken and barbie October 15, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Look they are local god damnit and live on sunset cliffs, trust me I know what I’m saying.


Craig Klein September 1, 2015 at 7:40 am


1. The wave looks great….nice work.

2. The woman looks a little “hard edged” kinda “Jersey Shore” or something, but as a matter of personal taste and artistic expression, OK.

3. The male surfer is a disaster. First, I have never seen any of “the boys” wearing a headband on their way to paddle out. Second (maybe it should be first) the surfboard looks like a complete Costco pop out kook job. (or maybe a giant phallus). Any one who knows the history of OB/PL knows the the only surfboard that belongs at the entrance to OB is a proper Sunset Cliffs keel fish. (preferably a single solid color) A re-do is required. AUTHENTICITY COUNTS. Otherwise we have our own Cardiff Kook.


PGR October 14, 2015 at 9:48 pm

I’m sorry but this mural is AWFUL! I have surfed for over 45 years and I have never seen a wave break like this one. The guy’s ‘surfboard’ is a joke. It isn’t even shaped correctly and the chick is an insult to women who do surf. Why was this allowed to be painted? A better theme would have been a mural of the OB Pier or of Sunset Cliffs. The seagull is the only redeeming object on the whole thing.


South OB Girl September 14, 2015 at 10:20 am

Henry has signed his name and painted his phone number in the upper left hand corner of one of the new murals at the gas station.  The wall facing south featuring sea gulls.  On the opposite side of the surfer mural.  As the writer of this article I would like to ask that if any individuals get in touch with Henry, that they do so courteously, politely, and professionally.  


A+ September 18, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Henry! Great work as always!!


Art Critic October 14, 2015 at 8:34 pm

So cheesy. Never seem a wave break like that. And is that Barbie and Ken? What an embarrassment


aRTSYgURL August 6, 2018 at 10:48 am

Absolutely eye catching. This mural is very playful and inspiring. LOVE it!


South OB Girl May 23, 2023 at 8:11 pm

Several years ago Henry Goods painted the mural at the entrance to OB on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. I think it’s time for an update or refresh. Vandalized a few too many times now, it may be time for a new mural.


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