With its laid back surfer silhouettes against a day-glo sunset, John Van Hamersveld's poster art for Bruce Brown's seminal surf movie The Endless Summer has become a cultural phenomenon and remains a dorm room staple over fifty years later. Surfer Bruce Brown had started making surf documentaries in the late 1950s, showing in small Southern California venues. In 1963 he embarked on his biggest project yet, chasing the summer season around the world with fellow surfers Michael Hynson and Robert August, visiting secluded surf spots in Hawaii, Australia and South Africa in search of the perfect wave. A Pasadena art student and editor of surfer magazine, Van Hamersveld was the only artist Brown knew. Van Hamersveld was paid $150 for the kitchen-table silkscreen assignment, and thought no more of it until the film started unexpectedly taking off a couple of years later. Brown took the poster and started showing the movie at small West Coast venues through 1965, printing the specific show information in the bottom blank area. This rare mini poster dates from that first initial release of the film, for a showing at Hoover High School Auditorium in San Diego in July and August 1965. When the film was picked up for mainstream distribution in 1966, Van Hamersveld's design was reprinted for the larger US One Sheets and ubiquitous commercial posters that have come to symbolise West Coast culture and the spirit of endless youth. One of the most recognisable poster designs of the last sixty years, artist Shepard Fairey has said that it may be the most pervasive surf image ever created.
Unfolded, not backed. Toning to paper and darkening to edges. Image and colours otherwise excellent.