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rock star status
rolling stone magazine
rock posters
Rick Griffin Movie
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Rick Griffin Movie

The Rick Griffin movie is about a man who reached rock star status as a visionary graphic artist. He created icons depicting the three major counterculture movements of the 1960s. These movements (in sequence) would be surfing, psychedelic rock and underground comix. Griffin was at Ground Zero in San Francisco when these counterculture movements began. He was one of the world's least known and most influential 20th century surrealists.

In many ways the man defined modern pop-culture. He drew the original logo for Rolling Stone Magazine. He would also work with the biggest rock stars of the age. The Fillmore and Avalon Ballroom also commissioned him to work on some of the most famous rock posters in history.

But first, he would be the original cartoonist for Surfer Magazine in the early 1960s. From Surfer Magazine's first cartoon strip "The Gremmies" emerges a little character named Murphy. Murphy is a gremmie (a naive young rookie surfer) With a bleached flop of hair and winning smile and attitude. He will become the face of the surfers and be in every issue of Surfer Magazine until 1964.

Surfer Magazine is where Griffin would meet the film maker/ journalist Steve Barilotti for the first time. They would become quick friends and both would continue to work for Surfer Magazine together.

Steve Barilotti (Barlo) made it his business to document the sport, art, and lore of surfing. No one knew more about what embodied Griffin’s many abstract ideas or the effects they had on wider culture than Steve does. So, he was a natural to develop and produce this Rick Griffin movie.

"He (Rick) imagined surfers doing incredible aerials and ripping massive waves on short boards in ways that weren't even on the radar in the late ’60s. He drew the future. He’s like the supremely cool big brother I never had." -Barlo.

Barlo and Griffin's relationship began with the mutual love of surfing. The culture, sport, journalism, photography and art of surfing became their career. Steve followed his friend thru the different stages of his career as super rock poster artist and underground comic originator. His Rick Griffin movie shows the evolvement of 3 new countercultures through the eyes of one man in the center of it. Individual freedoms and rebellion were being bred. However, there were allot of common denominators (and cross-followers) in all three.

Now, "The Most Influential Artist You Never Heard Of" is coming to light as The Rick Griffin movie. It is fascinating to see his bombastic art vision and style come alive through tragic and painful points in his life. Rick Griffin had "rock star" status as a graphic artist which we've rarely seen before. He was all but forgotten by the 1980's. Tragically he would die in a motorcycle accident in 1991. Very sad and huge loss to the art world as well as our enjoyment and enrichment from his work.


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