Like an acid trip in ink on the paper of space and time, John Van Hamersveld’s graphics have transcended the psychedelic ʻ60s and become classic images that are as futuristic as they are vintage. “Post-Future,” opening March 7 at Subliminal Projects, features many of Van Hamersveld’s classic works juxtaposed with re-imaginings of those images, recent retro-styled pieces and a never-before-seen series of drawings connecting past and present. Through the show, Van Hamersveld creates a lens through which the past can be seen and the future can be sourced, where imagery melts into a pool that is both the source and the destination of creativity.
Best known for his legendary poster for the 1964 blockbuster surf ﬁlm The Endless Summer and his album covers for the Beatles (Magical Mystery Tour), The Rolling Stones (Exile on Main Street), Jefferson Airplane (Crown of Creation), the Grateful Dead (Skeletons in the Closet), Kiss (Hotter Than Hell) and Blondie (Eat to the Beat), among others, as well as the mind-bending concert posters he created while operating the Pinnacle concert production company, Van Hamersveld has built up a wide-ranging body of work over a career verging on its sixth decade. He has been at various times artist, illustrator and designer. Among his other creations: an ofﬁcial poster and 360-foot-long mural for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games; illustrations for Esquire, Rolling Stone, Billboard; and branding and logos for Fatburger, Contempo Casuals and Broadway Deli. The iconography of his oeuvre runs deep, from Day-Glo tones to trippy swirls to the grinning “Johnny face,” an icon in itself.
Van Hamersveld’s retro-contempo-future-spective book, also titled Post-Future (Santa Monica Press), is scheduled for release in September.
“Post Future” runs at Subliminal Projects, 1331 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA until April 4, 2009. More images follow.