CALIFORNIA LOCOS: surf, skate, punk rock and a half century of LA History



CALIFORNIA LOCOS is a group show of contemporary art featuring Chaz Bojorquez, Dave Tourje´, John Van Hamersveld, Norton Wisdom, and Gary Wong, all native Angelenos that have shaped the LA art scene for over fifty years. Inspired by the Southern California sun, sand, and street culture, the Locos draw from a variety of influences, including surf, skate, punk rock, and the barrio. The show features all new works and collectables, including a poster designed by Andres Cuervo and Dave Tourje´ in collaboration with graffiti artist Chaz Bojorquez and graphic artist John Van Hamersveld.  Red Pipe will also publish a catalog for the exhibition, with essays by Mat Gleason of Coagula Curatorial and Eve Wood of Artillery Magazine.  From the catalog:

As the title of the exhibition California Locos suggests, these artists’ work is derived, or in some cases seemingly extracted, from the Southern California landscape in which it was forged, the word “locos” referring both to the Spanish word “loco” which means crazy, while also suggesting the idea of a fluid and supremely variegated “locale.” – Eve Wood

Chaz Bojorquez, known as the godfather of graffiti art and considered one of the first Chicano artists who successfully made the transition from street to gallery, was recently featured in LA MOCA’s exhibition, “Art In the Streets”, and his paintings are in the permanent collections of the National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C., the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM, and the Orange County Museum of Art.

John Van Hamersveld is widely known for his iconic poster for the movie The Endless Summer, to his album cover work for The Beatles (Magical Mystery Tour), Blondie (Eat To The Beat), Jefferson Airplane (Crown of Creation) and the Rolling Stones (Exile On Main Street), to name but a few. His work is in the collections of numerous museums such as LACMA and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Van Hamersveld’s book and artwork were featured in the February Issue of Vanity Faire Magazine.

Dave Tourjé’s work represents his roots in the culturally eclectic Northeast LA of the 1970s and the LA music scene, with a mix of low and high, punk, and institutional hegemony. His work was the subject of a one-man exhibition covering 15 years of paintings on acrylic glass at the Riverside Art Museum in 2002, and has been featured at the Oceanside Museum of Art, the Orange County Museum of Art, and Laguna Art Museum.

Since 1979 Norton Wisdom has collaborated with musical ensembles, spontaneously painting images in response to the energy of the music and moment. His live performances include collaborations with Big Black, Badal Roy India, Kuan Tet Orchestra Tibet, Nation Bambsuchibet, National Bamboo Orchestra of Bali, Bernard Fowler, Lili Haydn, Flea, George Clinton, Beck, Mike Watt, Rob Wasserman, John Mollo, Dave Navarro and Llyn Foulkes. Wisdom has also painted at museums, including the U.C. Santa Barbara Art Museum, Laguna Art Museum, Orange County Museum of Art, and the Milwaukee Museum of Art.

Gary Wong was a vital part of the shifting dialogue integral to the formation of West Coast postmodernism and surf-skate-rock culture as we know it today, and is well known in the LA blues scene for decades with the Charlie Chan Blues Band. His visual language is a complex collage-based, paint-draw process that often uses photography, and reflects his involvement in music as well as wider social and political concerns. Wong’s work is featured in numerous public and private collections, and has been included in exhibitions at the Chouinard Foundation Gallery, Royal-T, and Oceanside Museum of Art.

All five Locos will be on hand for an action-packed opening event on May 31, with live performance painting by Norton Wisdom to the music of Los Savages, poster-signing, and filming of a new documentary about the rise and evolution of these iconic artists.

California Locos


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