Bob Dob: You Should Have Been Here Yesterday
Contemporary artist + Hermosa Beach native Bob Dob captures adolescence + the surf/skate culture of South Bay in his first solo show at Shockboxx. His painting are inspired by his youth in South Bay, including surfing, skateboarding + his 10-year career of playing in a punk band around Los Angeles. We chatted with Bob about what we can expect to see at the show (opening Saturday, November 17).
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on your solo show You Should Have Been Here Yesterday! What can we expect to see at the show?
Bob Dob: This show is personal, and it was pure joy coming up with ideas from growing up around the South Bay. There will be a lot of music, skate, and surf themes throughout. The highlight painting is a large 4ftx4ft pierce paying tribute to Fletcher Dragge of Pennywise.
AM: Is the show title based on The Endless Summer?
BD: It is based off the surf term, yes, but it's directed more towards how great it was growing up in the South Bay in the 80's and 90's. Although it's safer to raise a family here now, it's also too safe—if that makes sense. My kids won't experience The Hells Angels rolling through Pier Ave in Hermosa Beach. If you follow comic strip The Bubble by artist Ian Freshman, he hit's it spot on. It's a big frat party here now, but the people are nice.
it's directed towards how great it was growing up in the South Bay in the 80's and 90's. My kids won't experience The Hells Angels rolling through Pier Ave in Hermosa Beach. It's a big frat party here now, but the people are nice.
AM: What's the inspiration behind the characters and scenes in your paintings?
BD: Most of the characters are based off hanging at the beach surfing after Jr Lifeguards, skating with Steve Rocco and punk shows with my band Lunacy. It was a pretty exciting and wild time.
AM: We love the twist on pop culture in your pieces. What other themes do you pursue in your work?
BD: I've pursued everything from music to 8-bit video games. My main focus now is Southern California beach, surf/skate culture, as well as the SouthBay punk rock scene. It's the old saying, ‘paint what you know’.
AM: Does Los Angeles/South Bay play any other roles in your work?
BD: In the past, I would include certain buildings and other recognizable characters from Los Angeles/South Bay. This show is very local, but I feel it'll reach a larger audience because the music and surf/skate scene transcended the South Bay. At one point, the top surfboard shapers were all found in Hermosa Beach: Bing Copeland, Dewey Weber, Greg Noll and Pat Jacobs. And then Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and Dependents started west coast hard core. It's really amazing it all came from this one square mile city.
AM: What music are you currently listening to?
BD: It's all over the place now. I still love all the punk, thrash, and metal that got me into playing music, but now I throw in some jazz and folk music. Good songwriting is all that matters now.
AM: What can we expect to see from you next?
BD: I have collectable vinyl toys coming soon from 3D Retro and Toy Art Gallery. I'm also art directing an animated series for a studio in Canada. I also have three or four commissions I have to get going on. I teach drawing and painting at Otis College, as well.
// photos courtesy of Bob Dob
// view more of Bob Dob’s work at bobdob.com.