Geoff McFetridge, Kevin Lyons

Michael, Kevin & Geoff

November 7th - December 20th, 2009

New works on paper from three old friends from Los Angeles.


Michael Leon

Michael is an artist and graphic designer. He is also a product of the skateboarding scene of the late 80s, early 90s. Both of these facts leave Michael in a unique place within the worlds of art and graphic design. He has the education and discipline of a trained professional, but embodies the freedom of thought and Do-It-Yourself tenacity of a skateboarder. A combination which has produced impressive work in many forums and mediums — from paint to print to photography to music.

His artwork has been exhibited internationally in numerous exhibitions. He was a co-creator of Commonwealth Stacks, Rasa Libre, and Nike’s Tech Pack. He has contributed art direction to Fourstar Clothing, Girl Skateboards, and most recently, Nike SB.

The 20 prints/paintings for “Michael, Kevin, and Geoff” were created in London over one week. They also mark the first time Michael has exhibited his “Untitled (Skull behind Sunglasses)” image. A process that involves re-questioning the same imagery with each painting; similar to how a skateboarder makes decisions about execution each time he approaches the same curb.

Michael Leon was born in 1974 in Tampa, Florida. He graduated from CalArts in 1997. He is currently based in Portland, Oregon.


Geoff McFetridge

McFetridge is an artist based in Los Angeles, California. Born in Canada, he was schooled at the Alberta College of Art and the California Institute of the Arts. He is part of the Beautiful Losers Exhibition, and makes solo exhibitions from Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, London, the Netherlands and Japan. Instinctively ignoring creative boundaries, McFetridge is a truly multidisciplinary artist and “an all round visual auteur.” From poetry to animation, from graphics to 3D work, from textile and wallpaper to paintings, McFetridge has complete control over these widely divergent disciplines.

Understatement is central to the impact of his work, inviting participation. It gets through the filters by offering the viewer an opportunity to play with a puzzle for a moment, a puzzle that doesn’t have one simple answer. Often imitated, but never equaled, in the past ten years, Los Angeles-based McFetridge has created in his work and in his commissions a unique imagery, which is detailed and abstract at the same time. Full of hands and teeth, objects and animals, hands and heads.

In the field of Graphic Design, McFetridge won public acclaim when he was still a student, winning awards from the Art Directors Club and ID magazine for his student work. From 1996 to 1998, he was art director of the famous underground Beastie Boys magazine Grand Royal. He has worked independently since then he has started the design studio Champion Graphics which has done projects for numerous clients.

McFetridge has created a double helix of personal and commercial art projects, blending disciplines and purpose in almost every project he does.

“McFetridge is well-known within the graphic design community for imagery that is economical and spare, yet powerfully communicative. Geoff developed motifs echo themes found in sculpture, such as the relationship between man-made and natural forms, the interplay between two and three dimensional space and visual conundrums” said Michael Darling, Seattle Art Museum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

“He is part of a new generation of designers who are eager to leap the old divides between image and product, design and art, the flat page and the moving image.” Paul Warwick Thompson, Director, Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum


Kevin Lyons

“Kevin stands as the dirty cousin to Geoff McFetridge and Michael Leon. While he is embracing of their culture, he is forever pitted the opposite against their form. While Geoff has chosen success and money as well as artistic freedom, Kevin has stewed in mediocrity, retail galleries, and limited time spent on self. While Michael has chosen authenticity and hipster form making, Kevin has fallen into work so juvenile that it is never referenced nor stolen. In the end, Kevin might just well be the only ‘Beautiful Loser’ here.” – Jennifer Smith, Art Director, Art Papers International Art Magazine

Kevin Lyons is a 1992 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where he received a degree in film. After working for Nickelodeon/MTV as an Associate Producer, he co-founded the NYC based design firm, stereo-type which for two years was responsible for much of the graphic look of the New York City underground Hip-Hop and Acid Jazz scene. This included the logo design for the long standing NYC based club, GIANT STEP. Stereo-type’s client list also included Soul Kitchen, 555 Soul and the LA-based, Brass Recordings. After receiving his masters degree from CalArts in 1998, Lyons has gone on to work for Nike, both in and out of house, was the former Art Director of Urban Outfitters on two separate occasions, and has been Art Director of Girl Skateboards subsidiary, Fourstar. He was also the original US Art Director for TOKION Magazine and maintains long-standing freelance relationships with Nike, Jordan Brand, Adidas, Stussy and Stussy Japan, Beams Japan, HUF, Nieves Books, Stones Throw Records, Commonwealth Stacks, and long-time friend and collaborator NYC artist, SSUR.

A typographer, an Art Director, a designer, a teacher, and a father. In 2001, he was named as one of “The Top Forty Designers Under Thirty” by ID Magazine. His work has been published worldwide from Thrasher to The Face to Lowdown to Anthem and Refill. He has shown worldwide including solo shows in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tokyo. He has written articles for the AIGA Journal, as well as addressing the AIGA on two occasions including once as a published recipient of its Fresh Dialogues Series. He has also held teaching assistant positions at both RISD and CalArts, and has been a visiting critic at the Yale Graduate School of Design. He was an Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute teaching Typography from 2000 -2002. Most recently, Lyons was the Design Director of the legendary Stussy and then Creative Director for the alternative retail giant, Urban Outfitters from 2003 – 2007.

He is now the Design Director for and Managing Partner of New York City based Anomaly, a brand incubating, marketing juggernaut with plans on running the world. He also produces three clothing lines; Atlantis, We Free Kings, and the third under his personal namesake, NATURAL BORN. All are distributed globally. Currently, Lyons also maintains his own small experimental graphic project also under the namesake, Natural Born and often can be found collabing with his two daughters drawing type and bumping Twin Hype.


About HVW8 Gallery

Established in 2005 in Los Angeles, the HVW8 ART + DESIGN GALLERY is a studio/gallery space for HVW8 and friends. The current mandate is supporting avant-garde graphic design such as Dutch designer/illustrator Parra (April 2007 + April 2009), American designer Brent Rollins (August/Sept 2007), Swedish design SSON (Sept 2007), Kevin Lyons (May/June 2008), Ray Noland (August 2008) and the Enjoi Pop-Up Shop (March 2009).





Michael Leon

Michael Leon and Geoff McFetridge

Kevin Lyons

Geoff McFetridge