Tuesday, 9 October 2012
The Life, Art and Raging Times of Rick Griffin
The Film: “Griffin” is a feature-length documentary that explores the art, life and eccentric spark of one of the world’s least known and most influential 20th Century surrealists. Over the time-warped span of the 1960's, one-time teen cartoonist Rick Griffin created defining icons for three pillars of west coast counterculture: surfing, psychedelic rock and underground comix. In each of these Ground Zero movements Griffin was considered a visionary savant who masterfully infiltrated his passions and relentless spiritual quest through commercial art…often subverting banal 50s advertising trademarks into mindbending psychedelic mandalas. Griffin cultivated a charismatic, rock-star persona and during his heyday was celebrated in Life Magazine as one of the “Big Five” of psychedelic poster art. Later, a born-again Christian, he would illustrate the Gospel Of John in the vernacular he knew and loved best…the comic-book. But by 35 he was all but forgotten. At 47 he was gone, killed while roaring his Harley down a Northern California back road. But Griffin's art lives on, his messages and cosmic signposts firmly encoded in our post-modern DNA.