Want to give the coolest possible counterculture art gift? Or buy a piece that will make your own crib as bangin’ as one of Mick Jagger’s or Nicolas Cage’s? Well, nothing could say, “Sophisticated art rebel” more vividly than an original artwork by one of the five legendary SoCal surf-skate-urban-art bad boys now touring as the California Locos.
They are Chaz Bojorquez (the Godfather of Graffiti Art), John Van Hamersveld (creator of the game-changing poster, “The Endless Summer”), Dave Tourjé (featured in the award-winning documentary, “Dave Tourje: L.A. Aboriginal”), Gary Wong (integral cross-cultural post-modernist) and Norton Wisdom (the music world’s favorite rebel performance and visual artist). Their lead has been followed by everyone from Banksy, to Shepard Fairey of Obama’s “Hope” poster, to an entire generation of artists.
Collected by Fairey, Jagger and Cage, as well as Paul McCartney, Jackson Browne, David Lee Roth, and the late major California-art collector Gerald Buck, the California Locos’ work is not available in galleries, but new pieces by all five are available to international art buyers for the first time at Art Miami Context from Dec. 2-7.
“What (the California Locos) did changed everything – but what they are doing now is the best work of their lives,” said respected art critic Shana Nys Dambrot on HuffPost.
Bojorquez’s “Señor Suerte” was the first known stencil tag, 30 years before there was a Banksy. One of the first Chicano artists to make the transition from street to gallery, his work is in The Smithsonian, LACMA and MOCA, and he designed a baguette handbag for Fendi; put his mark on skateboards and fashion for XLARGE, Vans and Converse.
Chaz Bojorquez, Los Avenues print, Edition size 40, 60×48 $9,850
In a March feature story on Van Hamersveld’s timeless dayglo movie poster, Vanity Fair writes, “The Endless Summer poster. Fifty years old, and it hasn’t aged a minute. So potent is the poster as an icon that it’s become a pop-culture reference within pop culture.”
Van Hamersveld changed the art world with “The Endless Summer,” and went on to design album covers for The Beatles, Beach Boys, Blondie, and the Rolling Stones, and concert posters for Jimi Hendrix and Cream.
His work is at LACMA and the Museum of Modern Art, and his four-block-long LED-light art canopy, “Signs of Life” is playing now at Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience. Said Fairey, “John’s iconic (Hendrix) image gave me an epiphany that sharpened my focus as an artist.”
Tourjé came out of the skate/hotrod cultures to become a found-object sculptor, reverse painter and musician with the Dissidents, and whose art has been exhibited at four major SoCal museums. He co-founded the Chouinard Foundation to preserve the works of one of the greatest art schools (now CalArts). A short film about him has won 7 international film festival awards.
Wong is an artist integral to the formation of West Coast postmodernism who continues to impact it through his expressionistic mixed-media works often utilizing cross-cultural symbols, and his blues-music-based performance art.
Wisdom has practiced his live-painting-on-glass improv act on stage with Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lili Haydn, Nels Cline, Llyn Foulkes, and orchestras in India, Bali and Tibet. For decades, he has been dedicated to exploring the proscenium-rectangle through color and collage.
To inquire about acquiring an artwork, contact Mary McCrink at 714-749-6369 or [email protected].
Written by DLX Contributor Kim Rahilly.