SIGN OF THE TIMES: LAIDBACK SURFER HAND GESTURE GETS A SPICY UPDATE

“Shaka” or “Shaka, brah!” Maybe you’ve heards this expression. Maybe you uttered those words in earnest salutation or ironically. Maybe you’re a core surfer living on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, and these words are you go-to, standard form of salutation.

In any case, the word “shaka” and it’s utterance are but only part of the communication protocol. Those words are said with an accompanying hand gesture that might be more familiar to many reader than the words. 

The shaka hand gesture, at one time graphically and symbolically associated with the clothing brand Hang Loose, is similar to the “devil horns” gesture associated with heavy metal music. With the shaka, the pinky finger and thumb are extended outward from the palm while the index, middle and rings fingers  are bend down into the palm.

With fingers configuration as such, the hand is then, like a wave  raised or extended and often given a little back and forth wiggle or shake, a motion functioning like a wave of the hand to emphasize and visibly highlight the message to its intended audience.

The gesture is one of positivity. Both loved and loathed by surfers, it is undeniably part of surf culture and has its cultural origins in the birthplace of modern surfing: Hawaii.

But culture and its symbols evolve and change. The shaka in the pic above is part of a two-page graphical spread in the zine Can’t Steal Our Vibe that show the gesture altered as a mash-up with the standard “f*ck you!” middle finger gesture. The extended pinky of the shaka is pulled in, and the middle finger is extended. On first try, it’s not an easy gesture to make fluidly, compared to the shaka. But no matter. Its what the gesture means that’s important here. What does it mean? That’s the beauty of it: For now it’s subject to intepretation. And if the creators have a denotation for it, its esoteric.

We love  that the “F-You-Shaka” hybrid brings together the insouciance, anger and insult of the middle finger with the friendly, laidback “everyone’s a bro” vibe of the trad shaka. These are opposing sentiments and may confuse. The mashiup, we think, is more ironic and capture even more the contemporary core of surf culture: Its rebel semiotics and its knowing cues and tribal codes.

Can’t Steal Our Vibe is a zine published by Lone Wolkfs (sic), a surf brand and shop in Venice, Los Angeles, that uses the new “F-You-Shaka” as a kind of logo on stickers. The title of the zine is taken from a graffiit-like, spray-painted message written on a panel that covered a door that had been shattered in an attempted burglary at Lone Wolfs in 2016.

STYLE: ALL THE OTHER KIDS WITH THE PUMPED-UP KICKS

It’s not news that a pair or two or three or 50 of fresh sneakers is an essential part of the contemporary wardrobe of the working creative-professional (WCP). These can run the gamut of old-school classic Adidas Gazelles or New Balance 574 running shoes ( that — God forbid — you’d actually go running in) to luxxy $700 Rick Owens / Givenchy / Gucci / Dior leather kicks to $50 checkerboard Van’s Slip-Ons to, as pictured here, Nike cross-training kicks (that — God forbid — you’d actually go cross-training in). These Nikes belong to colleague at an agency we work for. The pair are beautifully designed, and, aside from the red swoosh, understated at a glance. On closer scrutiny, there are few details that make these shoes sing: The red pull tabs, beige suede accents, and rounded laces.

. . . . .

私たちの同僚の同僚がこの素晴らしいナイキスニーカーを手に入れました。スニーカーは、現代の「働くクリエイティブ・プロフェッショナル」(または「WCP」)の必須のワードローブアイテムです。 ;)


CURRENT EVENTS: RETRO ARCADE-STYLE WEB VIDEO GAME “THOUGHTS & PRAYERS” REMINDS US OF HOW F*CKED-UP GUN CONTROL IS IN AMERICA

In light of recent news events in the United States and yet another deadly and senseless mass-shooting at a school, there’s this retro arcade-style video game on the web called Thoughts & Prayers, which makes a sobering and obvious point. Play it now for free.

. . . . .

この興味深いビデオゲームは「思考と祈り」と呼ばれています。これは、米国で撮影された学校の最近のニュースに触発されています。ゲームスタイルは、1980年代のアーケードゲームのレトロゲームのようなものです。しかし、このゲームは間接的にアメリカの銃や現在の銃規制法に関する解説をしている。

PROJECTS: OUR BAND ALOHA DEATH HAS A NEW TUNE CALLED “SHIBUYA”

One of our current projects here at Global Graphic is a music collaboration turned band called Aloha Death.  We’ve just released our second tune! It’s called “Shibuya” (Yay!!!) and you can find it now on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, etc.

Check out the band website for more details. In the meantime, follow Aloha Death on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

ICONIC: OFFICIAL PORTRAITS OF BARACK AND MICHELLE OBAMA UNVEILED

The official portraits of former U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama we’re unveiled Monday at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. It’s a tradition for outgoing presidents to have their portraits painted and hung in the museum for posterity. For official portraits, the paintings of the Obamas are remarkable, formidable works of art on their own, visually arresting and groundbreaking in style and provenance for the genre.

President Obama’s portrait was painted by a Brooklyn-based African-American artist from Los Angeles, Kehinde Wiley, whose work we’re fans of and we’ve posted here before. The First Lady’s portrait was also painted by an African-American artist, the Baltimore-based painter Amy Sherald. Continue reading

KICKS: GIANT FOOT STICKING OUT FROM ROOF OF HOLLYWOOD STORE “TOO INSTAGRAMMABLE”

Can something be too Instagrammable? That is the question, savvy reader. Our initial thought is, “Yes, yes something can be. ‘Too Instagrammablity’ (TI) is a thing.”

But then, upon further consideration, doubt creeps in, and we wonder further, “What does ‘too Instagrammable’ even mean?” It’s a binary, yes-or-no issue in terms of whether anything is Instagrammable at all. It either is or isn’t. And really, anything is Instagrammable by virtue of anybody taking a picture of something and posting it to Instagram. Continue reading

LEGENDARY: GODDAMMIT DON’T ASK ARTIST JASPER JOHNS WHAT HIS ARTWORK MEANS — NOBODY KNOWS WHAT IT MEANS!

One of modern art’s greatest painters and arguably America’s greatest living artist, Jasper Johns is a giant of the contemporary art world. Recently on the eve of “JasperJohns: Something Resembling Truth,” a massive new exhibition of his work at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles, Johns was interviewed by the New York Times. As he has explained in previous interviews, he doesn’t like offering explanations of what his artwork means. The Times article underscored his sentiments and revealed John’s jokey side with what is now one of our favorite quotes.

Mr. Johns himself is loath to offer biographical interpretations of his work — or any interpretations, for that matter. He is famously elusive and his humor tends toward the sardonic. He once joked that, of the dozens of books that have been written about his art, his favorite one was written in Japanese. What he liked is that he could not understand it.

CAPITALISM 101: ICYMI … EVERY AD IS A TIDE AD!

In case you missed it, one of the best — if not the best — TV commercial from the broadcast of last weekend’s 2018 Super Bowl was this ad for Tide laundry detergent. It’s already being talked about as one of the best ever and an “instant classic.” There are a few more companion ads for this Tide spot that aired throughout the Super Bowl. For example this Old Spice hijack by Tide and these too. All brilliantly conceived and executed.