The following year he had the first of three solo exhibitions at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, showing rough-hewn, beehive-shaped covered jars, some displayed inside modest wood cases reminiscent of Joseph Cornell's boxed assemblages. The small size of his works surprised people more accustomed to large-scale sculpture, but it announced a lifelong interest in intimacy as a subject.
His second show in 1961 featured a now-famous poster of Price casually riding a Pacific wave on his surfboard, arms held high with his name printed in a rainbow-arch between outstretched hands. It included small, sleek, brightly painted "eggs" with sexually provocative fingers of tangled clay erupting from dark orifices. Friend and fellow artist Edward Ruscha once described them as "psycho-erotic." The stylistic break with Voulkos was complete. The beautifully crafted and brightly painted work was as effortless and triumphant as the playful surfing poster implied.