Surfing Cowboys, a Venice-based outpost for mid-century modern surf memorabilia, will present its first show of 2010, “Hippie Folk Funk Art — anonymous social and political expression of the 1960s and 1970s,” beginning Saturday, March 27th through Monday, April 12th.
An opening reception for the show is scheduled from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 26th at Surfing Cowboys, 1624 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.
An eclectic variety of paintings, mixed media, ceramics, furniture and other relics from the 1960s-70s era will be on view. Event organizers say the collection took decades to compile.
“This unique collection is exactly what we like to share with our friends and clients. It evokes a sense of freedom and a spirit for living,” says the store manager.
Many of the pieces were found in basements and garages in the San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland area — considered the epicenter of the “hippie” movement. The variety of the work is representative of the art and politics of the time, evoking freedom of expression and often having a political message attached, event organizers note.
Featured are psychedelic painted furniture, protest helmets, social justice-inspired collage work and political folk art. Though much of the collection is anonymous, a standout in the show is the original flag showcased on the cover of the 1968 Ramparts Magazine — a symbol of the political unrest of the time, the store manager said.
A handful of museums and cultural centers have put together shows on this topic and genre including The Tate Liverpool, The Whitney Museum in New York City, The Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco and The Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland.
“The intention of this show is to take less of an academic approach and more of a soulful look at the pieces — many created by individuals trying to capture the political and social awakening they were experiencing,” says the manager.
“We are the first to admit that this collection is a labor of love — not a scholarly endeavor,” continued the manager. “The mystery and vibrant spirit of the work makes it even more interesting and subject to debate.
Surfing Cowboys is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Information, (310) 450-4891, or www.surfingcowboys.com/.