Words by Jenny Bahn
Photography By Justin Chung

Chris Gentile, Pilgrim Surf Supply

Brooklyn, NY

Chris Gentile, owner of Brooklyn’s Pilgrim Surf + Supply, sits on a wooden stool in his woolen hat, describing the art gallery he’s recently opened downstairs, the Over Under Room. It’s a small windowless space, painted white, with two bars of fluorescent light overhead. Soon, the printed and illustrated works of the artist Jef Scharf will be hung, unframed, to its walls, paper edges spilling onto the floor, curling up from their corners. It is an homage to DIY, and the whole endeavor stands in stark contrast to where we sit right now, soft morning light spilling through large windows and over racks of sweaters, stacks of books, and a wall of surfboards gleaming like hard candy.
The gallery, like a lot of things in Gentile’s life, seems a bit of a non sequitur. “I like when you put things next to each other that don’t have an obvious relationship, or that can’t be threaded together simply,” he explains. Positioning a Danish outerwear brand next to a Mark Richard surfboard, for instance, creates a type of friction that leads to critical thought, which then, ideally, changes the viewer’s expectations of what is possible. “I think that’s what Pilgrim has become known for — letting those diverse obsessions come together in an environment where the combination makes sense.”

Full story available in Faculty Department Vol. 2

Photographed in 2019 – Brooklyn, NY