Psychedelia’s Alive and Well in SoCal

Film by George Trimm, photos by Patrick Vaughan

Psychedelia and all its associations have been an intrinsic part of Southern Californian surf and skate culture since the 60s.

The Brotherhood of Eternal Love being it’s most famous Californian export. If you’re unfamiliar with the BOEL then you need to watch Orange Sunshine. Long story short, the near-mythical gang was an integral part of the Summer of Love and aimed to “turn on the world” through exposing it to LSD. The means to this end was to become the largest network of smugglers, buyers and distributors of acid the world had ever seen. Eventually, it all went predictably pear-shaped, but it’s a radical story in every sense of the word.

We’re assuming that there isn’t blotter acid glassed into the surf craft that Mitch King finishes, but his tripped-out art’s certainly reminiscent of the Brotherhood’s vibe. Following in the long line of fringe-dwelling craftsmen and artists in Southern California, Mitch creates paintings, with a tip of his hat to those who’ve paved the way, but with his own modern tweaks.

Mitch’s art and surfing are throwbacks to the formative years of surf culture, so it’s fitting that his use of the skateboard follows suit. Mitch uses his Penny as a mode of transport, and respite from the planer when the waves are flat. Which is more or less exactly how the skateboard seeped into surf culture before being released to the masses. Given the direction and sheer size of “skateboarding” in ’18, it’s humbling to tap into how it all began.

Head here for all things Penny or check out more from Mitch King on the gram.


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