California Locos at Art Miami

Cali Locos: Two Decades of L.A. Indigenous L.A. Art Hit Miami

The Must-See Group Show of L.A. Culture-Defining Artists Head to Miami during Art Basel.

CALIFORNIA LOCOS, represented by Coagula Curatorial’s Mat Gleason, brings over 50 years of Southern California art culture to Context Miami December 2-7, 2014. The traveling show, which premiered with positive press and curious crowds in Los Angeles earlier this year, features the work of legendary artists Chaz Bojorquez, Dave Tourjé, John Van Hamersveld, Norton Wisdom and Gary Wong: artists who are deeply rooted in the Southern California landscape, each having been influenced and inspired by the surf, skate, punk rock, and the barrio culture that is Los Angeles.

CALIFORNIA LOCOS focuses specifically on these five because of the impact they had on Los Angeles through the 80’s and 90’s. Dave Tourjé describes that time period as, “20 years of chaos. It was fractal, it was broken pieces – and it produced the first truly native generation of LA artists who were influenced by the edgy SoCal subcultures of Surf, Skate, Street and Punk.”

As art critic Shana Nys Dambrot says, “Understanding the LOCOS legacy is not about who influenced them, so much as it is about who they went on to influence.” The ripples of their visual styles across the world are impossible to deny, and after a stellar critical reception in Los Angeles, the CALIFORNIA LOCOS are coming to Miami’s international Art Basel to take their rightful place at the art table.

california locos crew


Chaz Bojorquez, known as the godfather of graffiti art and is considered one of the first artists who successfully made the transition from street to gallery. His iconic street image, a stylized skull called “Senor Suerte” (Mr. Luck), has become a seminal icon in graffiti art. Bojorquez’s paintings are in the permanent collection 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. Bojorquez was prominently featured in the renowned Art in the Streets exhibit at MOCA in 2011. Chaz is known as a primary influence on many contemporary graffiti artists such as Saber, Banksy, Shepard Fairey and others.

Dave Tourjé was born and raised in the culturally eclectic Northeast L.A. of the 1970s and his upbringing amongst the skaters, gangs, and the area’s tribal friction play heavily in his work. Also a musician, Tourjé was a member of the influential L.A. band the Dissidents, playing shows with Camper Van Beethoven, Saccharine Trust, The Minutemen to name a few. Tourjé’s artwork oscillates between high and low, punk and institutional hegemony and was the subject of a one-man exhibition covering 15 years of paintings on acrylic glass at the Riverside Art Museum in 2002. It has been featured at the Oceanside Museum of Art, the Orange County Museum of Art, and Laguna Art Museum. In 1998, Tourjé helped to form the Chouinard Foundation after purchasing the home of Nelbert Chouinard, in order to help restore the lost history of one of the great art schools in the world.

John Van Hamersveld, known for an enormous catalog of pop images. From 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) and the Rolling Stones (Exile On Main Street) to name but a few, Van Hamersveld’s iconic images have had a tremendous impact on popular culture and fashion from the early 60s to the present, including his influence on street artist Shepard Fairey. Van Hamersveld’s images incorporate a diverse mixture of sub-cultural design elements and formal academic training from both Chouinard and Art Center during the ’60s, drawing off of diverse influences from Lorser Feitelson to his life as an iconic surfer.

Norton Wisdom, who has been collaborating with musical ensembles for live art painting performances since 1979. His collaborations with renowned artists include Nels Cline (Wilco), Bernard Fowler (Rolling Stones), Ivan Neville, Stephen Perkins (Janes Addiction), Llyn Foulkes, National Bamboo Orchestra of Bali, the Disney Hall with Christoph Bull, and the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, to name only a few. His live painting performances have touched off a growing international movement of the same type, which he has been forwarding since the ’70s.

Gary Wong, who studied under Emerson Woelffer and Matsumi Kanemitsu at Chouinard and 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. 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. Close friends and influences have included artists as diverse as Rick Griffin, Doug Wheeler and Terry Allen.

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