Note: This RUN is unsigned and unnumbered from the original edition.
Over the years we’ve met quite a few collectors that share the same passion for subculture and collecting. These passions culminate for the us by collecting specifics artist's, iconography and imagery that shapes each of our collections. On the rare occasion we’re asked to offer vintage items on the site, and we have from time to time. Well last week profoundly changed our lives and we’re excited to share that will you. After spending a few days learning about the stories of 1 collector that has been in the game for the past few decades we found signed prints from many of the artists that built the foundation for collecting art prints. With the likes of Bill Graham, Gary Grimshaw, Coop, Derek Hess and beyond, stored safely in flat files, we sifted through and pulled a few hundred prints. Now that we’re back home we’re doing our best to process this collection, grade for quality, photograph and add to the site.
Rick Griffin was an American artist and one of the leading designers of psychedelic posters in the 1960s. As a contributor to the underground comix movement, his work appeared regularly in Zap Comix. Griffin was closely identified with the Grateful Dead, designing some of their best-known posters and album covers such as Aoxomoxoa. His work within the surfing subculture included both film posters and his comic strip, Murphy.
While attending Nathaniel Narbonne High School in the Harbor City area of Los Angeles, he produced numerous surfer drawings, which led to his surfing comic strip, "Murphy" for Surfer magazine in 1961, with Griffin's character featured on the front cover the following year. In 1964, he left Surfer and briefly attended Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), where he met his future wife, artist Ida Pfefferle.
That same year, he hung out with the group of artists and musicians known as the Jook Savages. He traveled with Ida on a Mexican surfing trip and later planned a move to San Francisco after seeing the psychedelic rock posters designed by Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley. In late 1966, the couple arrived in San Francisco, where they first lived in their van before moving to Elsie Street in the Bernal Heights district.
In the mid-1960s, he participated in Ken Kesey's Acid Tests. His first art exhibition was for the Jook Savages, celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Psychedelic Shop on Haight Street. Organizers for the Human Be-In saw his work and asked him to design a poster for their January 1967 event. Chet Helms was also impressed by Griffin's work and asked him to design posters for the Family Dog dance concerts at the Avalon Ballroom, which led Griffin to create concert posters for the Charlatans. In 1967, Griffin, Kelley, Mouse, Victor Moscoso and Wes Wilson teamed as the founders of Berkeley Bonaparte, a company that created and marketed psychedelic posters. Griffin returned to Southern California in 1969, eventually settling in San Clemente.