Event information reads: 7-9th November 2024, Riverside Studios, London, Surf / Film / Art / Culture


A real highlight of last year’s LS/FF was the Surf Cinema Re-VISION Gallery. Nine leading British artists were tasked with  reinterpreting the artwork for an iconic surf movie that resonated with them.

The results were mind blowing – revealing facets of the films that hadn’t been considered before, making people ponder the movies from someone else’s perspective;  the one-off A2 posters were auctioned off with the money raised going to Wateraid.

In celebration of our night of Cult Surf Cinema, collaborating artist Droog 79 has issued a signed Super A3 print of his much-admired and much bid-on re-interpreted Litmus poster.

We caught up with him to talk about the power of grainy VHS, free-flowing lines and Derek Hynd’s luminous gloves…

litmusposterLS/FF: You chose to reinterpret Litmus at LS/FF Surf Cinema Re-Imagined Gallery Show last year. Why does this film resonate with you?

DROOG79: I guess this film hit at just the right time, in my mid-teens and everything about it just made sense to me – the music, the style, the homespun philosophies, the trippiness, the dark animated story, the sense of humour, the grainy VHS and of course, the surfing. It just felt different.

The Hynd section just blew me away. I thought, “What the hell is this guy doing with those luminous gloves and crazy body jerks and chaotic sliding around?” But it made me smile and realise that you could do whatever you wanted on whatever board with no regard to fashion, norms, expectations or stinkeye!

You have to remember that in the UK especially, there was no real surf/skate media in those days. I had this video, a Tom Curren one, TV recordings of Point Break and North Shore and a Sunday morning TV series called High5 to keep me going. It’s kind of a shame that nobody now will love a video as much as we did back then and watch it and rewind it again and again and again until you know every move and every song and until it literally wears out the tape.

What was your inspiration for the piece?

I took some inspiration for the blocky colours from the animation and that psychedelic feel of the vid. The main figure came from some free-flowing one-line drawings I’d been doing of surfers with big floppy hair and disjointed bodies, just trying to draw really loosely without thinking and without really looking at the page.  The Wayne Lynch quote just seemed really appropriate especially as it’s now getting on for 20 years since this seminal film was released.

What are you up to at the moment and where are you?

After a few years travelling, working and campervanning I’m now settled with a little family on the Atlantic Coast of South West Spain, juggling a day-job, illustration and painting projects. My work is always evolving and going in ten directions at once, focus is not my forté! This summer I’m concentrating more on my oil painting which is a completely different style of work. I’ve done some really fun 3D collaborations in the past year with creative people I’ve met on the web – it’s great to see your work come to life as a toy or on furniture or fabric. I’m always on the lookout for new collaborations, commissions and projects to get stuck into. Still got a salty face, burnt neck, inky fingers, creaky knees, an overactive brain and a secret smile.

The Super A3 Prints are just £25 and available direct from the artist HERE