Surf’s Up: John Van Hamersveld creates surf-inspired pop-art wall mural in Hermosa Beach

By VALERI SPIWAK
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Growing up in the picturesque hillside of Palos Verdes, Calif., basking in the beauty of the Southern California lifestyle and radical surf culture, while studying contemporary ideas of mixing art and design from Andy Warhol seems like a beautiful, psychedelic fantasy. For American graphic artist and celebrated illustrator John Van Hamersveld, this was reality.

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Van Hamersveld grew up in the “South Bay,” attending high school at El Segundo High and spending countless hours surfing at Torrance Beach and absorbing the artistic beach city community. Merging his love for the surf industry in company with

the stirring 60’s counterculture rock n’ roll scene, Van Hamersveld’s artwork quickly became a timeless staple and would continue to be celebrated around the world for years to come.

Van Hamersveld generated quite the resume over the years, from learning contemporary illustrative techniques from Andy Warhol himself, to creating mind-bending posters for the likes of JimiHendrix, Cream, and Jefferson Airplane, to his iconic “The Endless Summer” surf film poster. Now the graphic artist adds yet another ageless and electrifyingly audacious project to his list of accomplishments; a sizable outdoor wall mural in Hermosa Beach, Calif.

After successfully installing previous murals throughout the South Bay, in January 2015, the City of Hermosa Beach commissioned Van Hamersveld to create the new Hermosa Beach surf mural.

“For the past three years, I have been involved with digital art and design, making artworks, private and public murals. The Hermosa Beach mural is about the last ten years of my drawing and using digital tools to make art that communicates my graphic message,” Hamersveld said.

The Hermosa Beach “Great Wave” mural’s location, on 14th Street and Hermosa Avenue, holds great significance to Van Hamersveld, remembered fondly as a popular spot and stirring social hub for surfers like Van Hanersveld in the 50s and 60s. Hamersveld said he centralized on the idea of creating a piece that paid honest tribute to the Hermosa Beach “surf city,” where he grew up.

“I am making a mural about surf history across the street from my teen memories as a surfer in 1955. Yet, the mural is not an antique, but it is a digital product,” Van Hamersveld said.

The mural is contracted for 10 years and and will be officially unveiled to the public on Sunday, June 28, 2015.

Stay up to date with artist John Van Hamersveld and be the first to know about his upcoming projects and current happenings by following him on Facebook, or visit his website at www.johnvanhamersveld.com.

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