I discovered an Australian artist named Tony Edwards sometime back in 2009 and dug his old surfing-influenced art so much I actually wrote to him and asked about getting some prints. He was real nice but said he'd moved on to landscape painting and that his older stuff was basically behind him. I kinda wanted to say "anybody can paint barns, but wit is rare" but I didn't, and a good thing too, as you'll see later.
The Goodvibes art that caught my eye.
Tony wrote to me again last month about his new collection of Captain Goodvibes material, and in spite of the exorbitant Australian postage rates went ahead and got one. If you want one too ya better hurry, they're only printing 1,000.
Da Big Book.
And what a book it is. On newsprint, with dayglo inks throughout. It's a truly beautiful book, and big too, about 13.5x9 and around 400 pages. These notorious Captain Goodvibes strips started around 1973 and ran in a paper called Tracks. There are hundreds of these faithfully reproduced along with various other pieces, and they're so visually dense I haven't begun to digest them all yet.
You could say they're "Underground" in appearance, but there's a meticulous artistry to much of it that most of the American Comix guys couldn't come close to. It's as if some artistic proto-species had evolved alone downunder without much input from elsewhere and not giving a marsupial damn either.
Can you zoom in on this one?
And I'm glad I bit my tongue about the landscape stuff because Tony's pieces are flippin' exquisite, a term I don't use loosely. They simultaneously embody the kind of linearity he employed 30+ years ago and yet are completely "painterly" as well, so the tension between the two approaches generates some real eyeball interest. If I had to compare them to anyone, and no kidding, it'd be Edward Hopper.
A beguiling sample of Tony Edward's current paintings.
If you're rich and lucky you may still be able to grab a copy from captaingoodvibes.com
You can't have mine but if you drop by I'll let you look at it.