Poketo is proud to present the Poketo x Club Mumble Series, co-curated with Bob Kronbauer, featuring the artwork of Club Mumble members Jeremyville, Travis Millard, Andrew Pommier, and Tony Larson. Club Mumble is a creative collective and online magazine founded by Bob Kronbauer in 2007. It explores contemporary art and street culture, through its blog and diverse network of fellow creatives and friends.
The artists in this series are Club Mumble contributors and prominent figures within the skateboarding community, but are also prolific self-publishers, product designers, gallery artists, and designers, making their work difficult to classify. What is clear and common throughout their endeavors is a love for a creative lifestyle, and the joy of creation. Bob Kronbauer and the four artists involved are heavy-hitters in the art and skateboarding community, each in different parts of the world, from California to Canada to Australia.
As a kid growing up in Southern California in the 1980s, skateboarding and surfing were a huge part of my life. The skateboarding scene was exploding in the 80s. It was a time when kids stole parking blocks to practice railslides, searching for any V-shaped ditch in the neighborhood was a daily activity, and with all of the construction happening in Orange County at the time, it wasn’t uncommon for kids to “borrow” plywood from the construction site and build quarter and half pipes in their own backyard. Having two older brothers growing up, that’s exactly what we did, an 8 foot half pipe that paved the way for endless skating as a kid.
It wasn’t as much of an industry back then like it is now-it was less about the money, sponsorship, and fame-it was just about having fun. Although, I do remember the time a young Tony Hawk came to our house to skate the ramp, it was pretty exciting. For the most part, it was usually all of our friends and the neighborhood kids skating the ramp, but, when pros did come over, they were ogled a bit like celebrity.
My brothers were big into skateboarding. One of my brothers, Tony, made a zine in his high school years called, Ground Beef. He published about 6 issues of Ground Beef in the 1980s all made with a portable xerox copier that my Dad bought him. Looking at Ground Beef over 25 years later, it’s a zine essentially about Southern California skate culture. But, as a teenager, you don’t consciously set out to make a culturally significant relic, you just make a zine about what you love and do. Yes, the zine was a skate zine, but, most importantly, it was a zine about people, music, cartoons, neighborhood gossip, and of course, the skating that happens inbetween.
For the release of the Poketo x Club Mumble series, we are giving away this special re-print of the zine with the purchase of any wallet or tee shirt from Poketo x Club Mumble collection (we are only reprinting a small quantity, zines are free while supplies last). Tony made several issues of Ground Beef and one still exists today. It’s the Ground Beef “Interview” issue made in 1985. Inside you’ll find interviews with Mark Gonzalez and Tom Groholski, a cartoon strip and music reviews by Thomas Campbell, writing and photography by my brothers, Tom and Tony Vadakan.
This zine is extremely personal to me as I lost my brother Tony to a swimming accident in 2004. He lived an amazingly creative life filled with friends, art, music, and family. He made zines like Ground Beef in his teens and even into his late 30s. Before he passed, he self published Broken Umbrella- a zine mainly about contemporary art, but, again, more about friends, music, and all his favorite people in this world doing creative stuff.
This collection with Club Mumble got me thinking about how much creating art, being with family, friends, and creating community is so important, it’s what drives us and what makes life rich. This is so much of what Poketo is, what Club Mumble is, and over 25 years earlier, what my brother Tony did with Ground Beef.
Enjoy, thanks for listening.