Alton Kelley  1940-2008

Kelley's mind-blowing posters and album covers for the Grateful Dead, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Quicksilver, Steve Miller and other legends ushered in the psychedelic rock-and-roll era.  Kelley, along with his life-long collaborator, Stanley Mouse, created some of the most distinctive and memorable images in rock music, including the famous skull-and-roses emblem for the Grateful Dead and the famous "Girl With Green Hair" poster for a concert at the Avalon Ballroom.  His work  plastered telephone poles, head-shop windows and vacant buildings in San Francisco in the 1960s.

Artista Warrior "El Presidente"

Damn!  I miss you Kelley, you old pirate, you! You were a little guy, but you had cajones as big as bowling balls...  The left hand to Stanley's right... together you guys  created some of the most profound art of the second half of the twentienth century.  In the environs of the San Francisco Bay Area it will be forever known as "Psychedelic Art", but as everyone around you knew, it was only graphic imagery undergoing yet another transformation. 

You once told me that any image created by any artist that came before us, was ours to use as we see fit, and that is the legacy we will leave to the future artists of this world... despite what these fucking lawyers say, so fuck them!..  Do I have the right to include in one of my future paintings a skull surrounded by roses, a thirteen point bolt of lighting or even a fucking flying eyeball?!  Hell Yes!  Hell Yes!  Hell Yes!.. and Hell Yes!

Thank you for your spirit...
I will continue the message of - Artista -

View the Alton Kelley slideshow gallery and portfolio.



Dave Sheridan  1943 - 1982

Dave Sheridan was raised since birth in Cleveland, Ohio and was educated at the Cleveland Institute of Art.  He moved to San Francisco in the early 1970's and quickly built a niche career in the Bay Area's art scene.  Dave collaborated with artists including Paul Mavrides and Fred Schrier on Meef Comix, Mother's Oats Funnies, the Overland Vegetable Stagecoach, and The Balloon Vendor, all published by Rip Off Press and The Print Mint.  Dave's solo work can be seen in Slow Death and Skull Comix and in cartoons he made for the Berkeley Barb.

Dave Sheridan soon settled in San Anselmo where he was an active member of Artista, collaborating with Pat Ryan, Alton Kelley and the others.  Back then the Artista artists collective was complete with its own embroidered jackets and equipped with a designer, if not coordinated softball team.  During the 1972 Major League Baseball strike, Dave appointed himself the head of the "Scab League", offering to have the Artista team take the strikers' place for $100 a week and all the beer they could drink. (more info to come)

Dave worked frequently with close friend comedian Don Novello, and illustrated the album cover for Novello's Father Guido Sarducci comedy album. A parody character of Sarducci even appeared in a Dealer McDope adventure.   Dave collaborated with Paul Mavrides and others and worked endlessly on the Gilbert Shelton's strips, syndicated by Rip Off Press and then later collected into comix.  Dave's vast contribution to publications such as the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Cartoonist Supreme, The Leather Nun, Time Twisted Tales and more gives him worldwide recognition today as a major artistic influence, primarily for his detailed graphic style, fantastic imagery, humor and imagination.  Dave has left behind countless fans, friends and loving family, but lives on forever through the legacy of the body of his work and in those he embraced.

"When I first moved to Marin County, California I was trying to get into the underground art scene that had sprouted in the sixties and early seventies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I started doing UnderGround Comix out of The Print Mint in Berkekey, who were printing and distributing underground comix, posters and other subversive material goin' around at the time.  I came across a comic that completely blew my mind... it was called "Mothers Oats" and it was done by a young dude recently arrived from the world reknowned city of Cleveland...
His name... - Dave Sheridan -.

There was a bogus ad on the inside cover but there was also an address listed, and the author happened to live in San Anselmo, just blocks... within walking distance from where I lived in Fairfax.  So I walked over to his house and introduced myself...  We immediately hit it off and the result was a grafix partnership that lasted a decade and a friendship that lasted forever!"

View the Dave Sheridan slideshow gallery and portfolio.



Pat Ryan

Pat Ryan, a founding member of Artista and world reknowned artist has been designing eclectic, stunning and visually entertaining works of art for decades.  Well known for his collaborations with art phenoms such as Alton Kelley, Dave Sheridan, Victor Moscoso and many others and who's work has contributed significantly to the rock art genre including designs for the Grateful Dead and others.  Pat is popularly known for his collaboration on designs of various cult underground masterpieces including a collection of labels known as the "California Home Growers Association Collection".

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View the Pat Ryan slideshow gallery and portfolio.



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