Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Notes from the Underground: Vintage photos of Jaxon and Wes Wilson

This month’s exhibit in the Maurice Del Mue galleries at the San Geronimo Valley Community Center is the Floyd Family Traveling Picture Show.  It’s a collection of photos, primarily of the San Geronimo Valley in Marin county, dating back to the late 1960’s taken by prolific photographer Harlan Floyd (1928 – 1991).

Back in the late ’60’s the Valley, became the new home to many refugees from the post-‘Summer of Love’ Haight –Ashbury scene.   Folks associated with the Digger’s, the Family Dog, the Grateful Dead, artists and activists, all made their way to the San Geronimo Valley.

The exhibit is filled with photos dating back 40+years of happy-go-lucky, long-haired folks, gypsy caravans, even a shot of Jerry Garcia playing softball…

Fortunately Harlan captured it all.

Harlan’s son Hank Floyd (who’s work is also part of the exhibit) recently gave me copies of a few historic photos—notably of artists Jaxon and Wes Wilson-- which he knew would be of interest to me.

Cartoonist Jaxon circa early 1970's

Above is Jack Jackson aka Jaxon one of the true founding fathers of Underground Comix.  He drew the proto-underground God Nose in Austin, Texas in 1964 and then worked for the Chet Helm’s Family Dog  in San Francsico before co founding Rip Off Press.

He is probably best remembered for his seminal historical comics and graphic novels such as White Comanche, Blood on the Moon, Red Raider (Comanche Moon), Los Tejanos, Secret of San Saba and El Alamo among others. He died in 2006.

                                         Beatrice  Bonini and Jaxon in the San Geronimo Valley 

Apparently, Jaxon spent enough time in the Valley to be captured by the lens of Harlan Floyd.

                                             Wes Wilson, Eva and family living in Lagunitas circa 1970.

Wes Wilson is usually acknowledged as the father -- of the 1960’s San Francisco so-called psychedelic poser.  He innovated the melting-morphing ‘psychedelic’ font back in the mid-60’s.
Wilson is still an active artist living, I believe, on a farm in Missouri.

                                                                         Wilson in his Lagunitas studio.

Much thanks to Hank Floyd for the use of the photos.

Photos courtesy and Copyright the Harlan Floyd Family

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