The surf industry changed in the early 80’s. What was traditionally hibiscus flowers, long boards and long summer days, was never the same again. The boards halved in size, boardshorts halved in size and the wholesome California dreaming was drowned out by a punk rock tidal wave. Long summer days quickly became long summer nights. Surfing was truly at its most radical, in and out of the water.
Peter Webb was at the epicentre of this change and a major player in the surf art movement that followed. Peter, an artist from Torquay, Victoria (Australia), home to some of the biggest waves and the biggest surf brands in the world, was working as a commercial artist for a then young Quiksilver and during this time helped create some of the most iconic artwork the surf industry had ever seen. Peter’s art, his understanding of colour, his creative influence and hand helped to steer Quiksilver and the surf industry onto the rock and roll highway. Never to return.
Artwork based on tropical islands, sun, sand and surf were replaced with art movements and campaigns known as ‘Echo Beach’, ‘Ghetto Dog’, ‘War Paint’ and ‘Surfers of Fortune’.
During these fast times, Peter gave birth and painted a dog as an icon for Quiksilver known as ‘Ghetto Dog’, a dog not to be messed with, Ghetto Dog had a bark and a bite to rival start up surf brand Mambo. It was Peter’s humour and gritty graffiti style approach that set Ghetto Dog onto the heels of anyone thinking of entering the surf industry in the mid eighties.
It was the urban influence, fine art, graffiti and a true understanding of painting along with his skills as a colourist that Peter brought to these revolutionary advertising campaigns and product development. Its often said that Peter’s hand, his flow and expressive ability to use a paint brush is just as close to someone surfing a wave.
If you were rocking Quiksilver boardies in the mid eighties and early nineties there’s a good change you had yourself some ghetto dog artwork keeping you tight. Regardless, if they were Quiksilver you had definitely been touched by Peter. Peter, who still maintains the practice of painting and Quiksilver share a great relationship to this day, fingers crossed theres more to madness to come. Please!
The Ghetto Dog still roams the beaches of the world, if you see him remember – approach with caution. Born a wild dog. Die a wild dog.
We are thrilled to introduce Dog-Friendly, a collection of city guides for dog-loving people, created together with our long-time contributor, photographer Winnie Au, and fellow enthusiasts, indie publisher Hoxton Mini Press. Available for purchase here.
August 25, 2021
Have you ever imagined Amy Winehouse or Nick Cave as a Chihuahua, Neil Young as a Vizsla, or PJ Harvey as an Afghan hound? That’s exactly what San Francisco-based artist Michael Gillette has done through his unique illustration project, blending beloved, iconic music legends, both past and present, with their dog counterparts. Pack of Dogs, our first foray into book publishing, is a celebration of pup and pop culture for music and dog lovers alike.
August 25, 2020