Yusuke Hanai

We first came across the work of Yusuke Hanai in a particular Laguna Beach surf shop. Aside from several t-shirts, what really blew our minds was a book of his illustrations. Filled forlorn looking surfers, alcoholics, dog walkers and all manner of ordinary people. Yusuke first started to draw at 17, after discovering the work of Surfer artist Rick Griffin on the cover of the Grateful Dead's "Aoxomoxoa" album. Becoming obsessed with surf art and the 60s counter culture he hot footed it to San Francisco. However in contrast to the overwhelmingly busy nature of sixties psychedelic art, Yusuke Hanai seems to have plucked Rick Griffin's Murphy character from the pages of a 1962 issue of Surfer and placed him in a minimal 21st century context with humour and the kind of attention to detail more commonly associated with Japanese art and crafts movements.