A surf symbol from the '60s

November 27, 2010|By Joseph Serna,
  • Artist John Van Hamersveld signs a copy of the famous poster he created for the surf film "The Endless Summer" at the Surfing Heritage Museum at South Coast Plaza on Saturday.
Artist John Van Hamersveld signs a copy of the famous poster… (KENT TREPTOW, Daily…)

Wearing all black, from his socks to his shirt and hat, John Van Hamersveld may not look like a Southern California surf culture icon from the 1960s.

But you need to just turn to his artwork. Most notably, the poster he created for the classic surf movie, "The Endless Summer."

"It's simple, clean. Sun, surf, sand," said Costa Mesa resident Tom Askew, a proud son of Southern California's '60s surf culture, who was wearing an O'Neill baseball cap Saturday.

Referring to the poster and lifestyle it represents, Askew said, "It's a feeling. It gives you a good vibe about being casual, comfortable."

Askew was one of Hamersveld's fans who visited him Saturday at South Coast Plaza's Surfing Heritage Museum, where he was signing copies of his new book, "My Art, My Life."


Hamersveld said he wouldn't have been able to create the poster, or any of the other famed works he's done including album covers for Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and Cream, had he not grown up here.

Now, more than 40 years removed from that time, the symbols Hamersveld created endure.

"It's amazing. People recognize it as intrinsically valuable," he said.

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