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PHOTOS: John Watson - Prolly Is Not Probably
If you were wondering whether or not Geoff McFetridge rides bicycles, the answer is yes. It can be apparent in his work as the bicycle becomes a theme that pops up more than you might think. But, it was more than just a theme when we met up with him in Los Angeles last month. The Tour of California was going on, somewhere, as we rose early to meet up with the artist who recently created a work for Rapha's La Centième poster project.
The Trails is a good enough spot to meet up. It has the coffee and baked goods for a start. Geoff is waiting for us when we arrive a touch late, as per usual. His bright orange riding vest stands out in the trees beside this bustling cafe. It is the orange vest that is associated with the elusive Mudfoot cycling club. How do you get one of those? What do you need to do to get on the team? What does the name mean? All these questions and more are tossed around, but not before we are caffeinated and riding up into the surrounding hills.
We cross over and descend down the backside of Griffith Park (where the famous observatory can be found) and back into 'La La Land'. The ride seems to be picking up steam or something to that effect as a very tall Ty and an even taller Woody — two of the three owners of the bike shop Golden Saddle Cyclery — sit on the front of the group and navigate us through Studio City. Look to your left and you will see any number of fancy cars that line the street, to your right the Looney Toons sign looms large (the Warner Brothers animation seems appropriate on this day).
And then we arrive at the quiet studio that houses the creative forces of Mr. McFetridge. It is painfully obvious upon stepping through the doors that this setting is run by a mind that cannot be contained. His work lines the walls. Some are covered in a thin protective coating while others lie open to the sunlight and breeze that travels throughout the spacious rooms.
To illustrate what it feels like to be in this studio, take a look at something that was created here. This 2008 Whitest Boy Alive music video, illustrated by McFetridge, is the closest interpretation of what it means to be in this studio and quite possibly the mind of Geoff McFetridge. Everywhere you turn, another trapdoor opens to reveal a different drawing, painting or creation of some sort. Each one, made up of simple lines, forms and colors belie an extraordinary depth perfected with many years of practice.
And then we are back out on the hot street, blinking up at the bright L.A. sun and smiling at what we had just seen. Or had we seen anything at all? So fantastical is his work it felt imaginary. But, yet, it can be confirmed because leaning next to the doorway in front of us is the silver Moots bicycle that led us here. Amidst our giddiness I spy the lyrics written around McFetridge's legs…
"There is a light that never goes out."
The poster designed by Geoff McFetridge for La Centième Poster Collection. The posters, while sold out, can still be viewed in person at the nearest Rapha Cycle Club, where they are all on display during the month of July for the 100th edition of the Tour de France.
- Cool to see our friends @chriskingbuzz representing in the mix of the elite men's race. #mycielo Parbo! http://t.co/L8g8gNofyR
- The masked man on the cyclocross course today was @jeremypowers. It was that cold. http://t.co/KztIjCYu4O
- Calm and confident on the snow - Katerina Nash is off to an early lead. http://t.co/8TynNP7Nho
- Mr. McDonald's tire choice for today's snowy conditions. Can you guess his PSI? http://t.co/2iHgOw6sUw
- They reopened the ice covered fly-over here in Bend. http://t.co/6xOs5BSd0W
- River City Bicycles racer Ryan (Dream) Weaver 2_wicked_awesome powered his way to a chilly 2nd in the… http://t.co/HDDjDnS99w
- Meanwhile over in Bend, Oregon it is a bright, crisp day for cyclocross racing. http://t.co/6lcDQK5UNX
- If you're in Scottsdale, Arizona, make sure to stop by the beautiful new @bicyclehaus shop. 2 - 7pm. http://t.co/gsWtf6fa45
- Win today's Alpe D'Quiz prize: a Men's or Women's Classic Softshell. ‘A thing of beauty,’ according to The Times. → http://t.co/3n8XlqiNYq
- @tribryan Hi Bryan, that’s a discontinued Irish Country Jersey which is no longer in production, sorry to disappoint.