Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Somos Locos - The Cali Locos Are At It Again!

If you missed last Summer's party for the Cali Locos art opening thrown by Juice Magazine in Venice, well, you're bummed. The good news, however, is that there is another chance to celebrate this quintessential Southern California art collective's work this coming Saturday, March 18th, at the Manhattan Beach Art Center.

A day-long event will showcase the best of all the Locos' worlds, with a skate spot opening, new Cali Locos book signing, live music from Los Savages, Charlie Chan, and Steve Alba, and capping off with the art show in the evening, featuring new works by the guys in the Cali Locos "band" - Chaz Bojórquez, Dave Tourjé, John Van Hamersveld, Norton Wisdom, and Gary Wong.

Much has already been written about this storied group of artists and friends, with each member bringing their own aesthetic and attitude into the mix. The striking thing about them is that they really are a band of brothers. They don't compete with each others' work, they compliment it. They lift each other up and are in full support of the other, qualities that are often exceedingly rare in the art/entertainment worlds. Because these cats are more than artists, they are entertainers. They have influenced our culture in immeasurable ways. No ... they've helped to create it in the first place. As with most all of the cultural characters and styles I gravitate toward, their work personifies freedom. Freedom to create, to express, to translate, to comment, to politicize, to protest, to rejoice, to rock ... to BE.

Bojórquez's calligraphy and graffiti styles have been copied the world over, but they started in Northeast L.A. He is one of the first street artists to have made the transition to galleries, and his influence cannot be overstated.

Tourjé is also a product of Northeast L.A., and his art work reflects the pop, surf and skate culture that cemented Southern California's place in peoples' minds as the go-to for cutting edge style, music, and yes, art.

Van Hamersveld's graphic design is known the world over, most famously with his poster for the original Endless Summer. Shepard Fairey cites him as a major inspiration, and it's clear why. Iconic.

Wisdom is as much a performance artist as a traditional one, and he can often seen painting alongside Los Angeles bands, producing a completed work by the end of a set. These are truly rock and roll artists, and nearly all of them will be performing again at this weekend's shindig.

Wong's (aka Charlie Chan) collage and photography based work is another clear influence on the surf and skate culture that defines this wonderful part of the world, and he also plays music, which often finds its way back into the art work, completing the circle of creativity.

Though this band of merrymakers have been friends for decades, their collective work has never been more fresh. A collaboration between the Cali Locos and Dusters Skateboards has made available a signature deck for each artist. These decks showcase how different their individual styles are, and how well they work together, both the works of art and the friends. For this new show, "Somos Locos" translates as "We are crazy". Bojórquez clarified this by explaining that THEY aren't crazy ... they are "Crazy about life". And it shows.

Please join the Cali Locos this Saturday, March 18th at the Manhattan Beach Art Center!

Manhattan Beach Art Center
1560 Manhattan Beach Boulevard
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

1 pm - Skate Spot opening
3 pm - Live music
5 pm - Book signing
6-9 pm - Art show
The whole time - FUN.

*Photos courtesy of the Cali Locos.

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