RICK GRIFFIN: MYTH, LEGEND AND THE EARLY LOCO ARCHETYPE.
Some artists are good, some are great and some become legendary. Such is the case with Rick Griffin.
His early youth was spent growing up in the racially mixed neighborhoods near San Pedro where he was impacted by Cholo and Lowrider culture. Later, he moved to Palos Verdes where he met John Van Hamersveld. From there on, his life became surfing and rock and roll.
Through his art, Griffin profoundly impacted the parallel worlds of Surf and Rock, evolving his own graphic sense, engulfing the energy of his genres while impacting everything from Graffiti to Graphics to Fine Art. At Surfer Magazine in the ‘60s with Van Hamersveld he helped to forge Surfer’s influential graphic mystique from the early “Murph the Surf” to his abstract typography and comic renderings of the ‘70s. He moved to San Francisco becoming a pioneering artist of the psychedelic poster era, creating dozens of instant classics from Grateful Dead to Jimi Hendrix and many others, even designing the logo for Rolling Stone magazine. He was a founding member of the acclaimed Zap Comics which included his fellow Chouinard alum Robert Williams and he left his imprint on influential surf films (Tales from the Tube, Five Summer Stories, etc.), as well as in fine art with his more spiritual expressions on canvas. Sadly, he died too young- a fatal motorcycle accident claiming him in Petaluma, California in 1991.
His connection to each of the Locos runs deep. In addition to growing up and working with Van Hamersveld, he became good friends and roommates with Gary Wong while attending the Chouinard Art Institute in LA. Chaz Bojorquez was deeply influenced by Griffin’s graphic ideology which infused his own cholo style calligraphy. As surfers in the Punk Rock world, both Norton Wisdom and Dave Tourjé did not escape his impact either, with his style making its way into their work as a profound influence.
Rick Griffin is considered an “Original Loco” and a true SoCal archetype. We are truly proud to present the Rick Griffin collaboration with the Rick Griffin Estate as our tribute to one of SoCal’s greatest.