Friday, July 25, 2008

The Importance of Vision

Geoff Mcfetridge is an artist who has always been true to himself. I met Geoff so many years ago through the Skate/Art/Music world of Calgary that it'd be hard to know the date - like early 90's - aka "the time before grunge". We have so many mutual friends and overlaps it'd be funny to draw a diagram one day. People like Tyler Gibney of Heavyweight (HV8), to Trent Good - the Tattooed beat messiah who is now creative director of eTrade to Christian Rutledge of Looking Glass Studios to Andy Jenkins the style force behind Girl Skateboards as well as the eponymous Bend Press empire and onwards and onwards. I once had an Art Director in New York look at me with abstract fascination that my name was printed in the thank-you's of the (now defunct but mythical) magazine put out by the Beastie Boys called Grand Royale. I have to thank Geoff for that - but more importantly his design and Art Direction work on that publication was pure genius. If you don't know Geoff's work his site Champion Graphics is worth a browse. I'm writing about Geoff this morning 'cause I got an e-mail from some company in Australia called COLAB. At first I thought it was junk - however, they were offering a pair of Sunglasses called oddly enough "The Geoff McFetridge" - coincidence? Rip-off? I dug further... only to discover Geoff (of course) has done a line of products with them. Geoff has always amazed and will continue to amaze me. Not only with his dry sense of humor, extreme humility and self-effacement but also how he looks at the world and how easily his work blends between fine-art, skate graphics, products and commercial properties. It's endless. He's a Dickies clad businessman on one hand and the guy who makes you laugh milk out of your nose in another instance. I've attached a portrait that was quickly shot at one of his last shows that I had a chance to check out while passing through LA last year. In the meantime, following the COLAB link this morning, I was led to this article Geoff wrote about his latest creative venture called Solitary Arts. I wish everyone knew Geoffs sardonic voice that bounced around my head when I read his words, but his writing stands on it's own regardless of if you know his voice or not. Geoff has made an indelible mark on Pop culture and will do it even more over the years to come - both as a sneaker wearing intellectual of the arts, and as creative spirit who is not afraid to share his humanity with us all.

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