House of Vans celebrates 30 years of Jim Phillips’ Screaming Hand
By Lewis Firth | Art | 13 August 2015

The Screaming Hand by Skinner.

30 years ago Jim Phillips Sr. designed the Screaming Hand in his art studio. House of Vans London are now marking its anniversary with an exhibition that aims to reanimate and thus celebrate the design with a shot of originality.

A bit about the man himself: Jim Phillips’ childhood lacked inertia: growing up on army bases, constantly moving and, by the time he was seven, he’d enrolled and left eight different schools. This lack of structure – and subsequent boredom – meant doodling became Phillips’ way of passing the time, manifesting eventually into quirky cartoon characters and a design job at Santa Cruz skateboarding company in 1975. The rest is, well, history.

The majority of skate graphics within the past three decades have come from Phillips. The Screaming Hand (designed in 1973) is one that has become most emblematic to a generation of skate culture, existing simultaneously parallel with the exuberance of youth. It’s idiosyncratic aesthetic has become iconic – a creation that continues to be re-worked and re-imagined by Phillips today.

The HoV exhibition itself is a culmination of creative interpretations of the Hand, contributed by 48 world-class art stars selected from the past three decades, including: Jimbo Phillips, Jeremy Fish, Mike Giant, Todd Bratrud, Bigfoot, Steve Olson and Skinner, to name a few.

A quirky, kooky signpost of a generation that’ll quench some cultural thirst.


House of Vans London, SE1 8SW, 13th-20th August. 


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