Along with the much anticipated CALIFORNIA LOCOS exhibition at the Manhattan Beach Art Center, they will be launching their new hardcover book. Entitled SOMOS LOCOS, THE STORY OF CALIFORNIA LOCOS, introduced by Martin Betz from the Manhattan Beach Arts Center, who published the book.
Betz mentions synchronicity in his opening, and these far reaching energetic strings tying us together, are visually reviled throughout. The book launches into a pictorial introduction to the five artists who make up CALIFORNIA LOCOS: John Van Hamersveld, Gary Wong, Norton Wisdom, Chas Bojórquez and Dave Tourjé, with contemporary images of the artists and there work.
The book is punctuated by three revealing essays. The first by Shana Nys Dambrot entitled SOMOS LOCOS: Freedom Rock. A friend of the artists with a deep knowledge of the Southern California art scene, Dambrot is a renowned Los Angeles Arts writer. As Dave Tourjé said, “Shana has been around for a long time, she gets it, a no brainer.” And if you aren’t already in love with the freedom and pulse of the CALIFORNIA LOCOS, you will be after reading her words. Dambrot sets the stage for the next part of the book, the works, events and history of the artists as a group.
“My art show, ‘L.A. Aboriginal,’ held at the Gregory Way Gallery in Beverly Hills in 2011, was extended by the gallerist, Tom Gregory. He asked me to give a talk on my artwork and instead I proposed a panel discussion with several of my friends. He liked the idea and so I set it up with the guys, each of whom are in the California Locos today. While doing the panel, the moderator Mary Ana Pomonis and ‘L.A. Aboriginal’ Filmmakers, Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir, were playing with a name for the group. They started calling us the ‘California Locos,’ which stuck and it just took off from there.” —Dave Tourjé
James Daichendt, an esteemed author and academic, whose books include Kenny Scharf: In Absence of Myth and Shepard Fairey: Artist/Professional/Vandal, writes the next essay, where he starts to put the “band” of artists in historical perspective. Called BECOMING LOCO, his essay ushers in the next section of the book perfectly, as the viewer starts traveling back in time with photographs, where the events show an evident synchronicity in these men’s lives.
This part of the book is especially intriguing, keep an eye on the dates. Also in this section, the viewer encounters a quiet tribute to the artist Rick Griffin, best known for his psychedelic posters from the 60’s.
The last essay, Shredding Rules: The California Locos, Collective Energies, and Institutional Structures, by Charlotte Eyerman, Ph.D., an arts historian, gives us an idea of where CALIFORNIA LOCOS fit in history, and how alive it feels today.
How many artists in Southern California today, will be seen as part of the CALIFORNIA LOCOS movement? Maybe we all will? As Dave Tourjé said, we are a “Walking Calamity” a “Blizzard of Artists.”
It’s time to clear your calendars for Saturday, March 18th, 2017. Plan on spending the day in Manhattan Beach, immersed in the freedom loving energy of Southern California by way of surf, skate, punk and art culture, as they merge in a series of special events on the CALIFORNIA LOCOS pop-up tour, SOMOS LOCOS. A progressive roll-out of cultural events with an art exhibition and book signing, centered on ideals promoted by original LOCOS artists: Dave Tourjé, Chas Bojórquez, John Van Hamersveld, Gary Wong and Norton Wisdom. See our INTERVIEW here, and our SAVE THE DATE here.
The day will start at 1:00 pm with pro skaters launching Manhattan Beach’s new Skate Spot at the Marine Avenue Park. LOCOS artist will be along for the dedication, celebrating the culture and their designs for Duster Skateboards.
A live concert, in the Manhattan Beach Art Center Parking lot begins at 3:00 pm. Steve Alba’s PowerFlex 5, Charlie Chan and the SOBs and Los Savages will perform until 5:00 pm, with food served by Critic’s Choice Catering.
The CALIFORNIA LOGOS pop-up exhibition, SOMOS LOCOS opens at 6pm and will mark the launch of their new hardcover book SOMOS LOCOS. The exhibit includes original works by LOCOS members, as well as the release of a new, original, LOCOS design by Duster’s creative director Nano Nobrega, along with the book signing, until 9pm.
March 16th – March 19th, 2017
Saturday March 19th
Manhattan Beach Art Center
1560 Manhattan Beach Boulevard,
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266.
John Van Hamersveld