Every now and then something interesting comes along which doesn't really fit the "Memories" or "Guestbook" book pages but needs to be made public. To accomodate this the "Musings" page has been created. If you need to get something Griffin related off your chest let me have it.
A FLASH-BACK IN BRONZE by Bo Leroux, Cape Town
Now here's a little something that takes weirdness up to a whole new level. Check out this image of a late 19th century art-nouveau bronze plaque of Christ juxtaposed with an image of Rick (from a photo by Ted Streshinsky).
Consider the following fairly far-out notion: Rick was an artist of such immense importance in the overall cosmic scheme of things that a Belgian artist called Hautfenne produced a bronze plaque of Christ that beautifully embodies the alpha and omega points of Rick Griffin's life - and did so at least four or five decades before Rick was even born. Check out the plaque and note the following:
The crown of thorns on the Christ figure's head features exactly 18 thorns, and is twirled around so that the two main strands continually repeat the number 8. Rick died on the 18th of the 8th month (August) - of head injuries from a motor-cycle accident, which of course is what a crown of thorns will cause, namely bleeding from one's head.
Rick was born on the 18th of the 6th month (June). At the bottom of the plaque is a single 6-shaped hair spiral on the left side, and there are three 6-shaped hair spirals clustered together on the right side. The one on the left could be seen as representative of the 6th month, and the three 6-shaped spirals bunched together on the right, add up to 18. And if that's not a profound enough representation of his birth-date, look at the halo which forms the backdrop to the head. Here we have six individual 'channels' recreated three times (ie left, right, and top). So, each 'channel' section represents the sixth month, and add these three six-fold channels together and you get 18 - i.e. again his birth-date in June. His birthday was in the year 1944 - and the robe that the Christ figure is wearing represents a whole string of connected squares - a square of course having four sides, and four being both the decade and the year of Rick's birth.
The left eye of the bronze Christ figure has a slightly odd appearance - almost as if the eye is blind or malformed. One of the most pivotal events in Rick's life was a car accident in his late teens which resulted in damage to his face and his left eye that resulted in him not being able to close his left eyelid. It was an injury that was to have a profound effect on Rick's appearance, and was doubtlessly responsible for his preoccupation with the eyeball as one of the primary subjects of his artistic life.
The 'wavy' art-nouveau influence in the design of the hair resonates perfectly with Rick's central preoccupation in life, namely ocean waves. And of course, in terms of Rick's prominent nose, long hair, and beard and moustache - the figure is of course extremely similar to how Rick looked, as can be seen in the accompanying picture of him.
Rick was doubtlessly THE most important Californian artist of the Sixties - being responsible for moulding the minds and spirits of surfers, hippies, and finally, followers of Christ. How coincidental then that Rick's surname was that of the mythical Griffin/Gryphon creature that has the head of an eagle and the body of a lion, and which was used extensively in Medieval art as a symbol of Christ - the eagle representing his Heavenly kingdom and the lion representing his Earthly Kingdom.
And finally, considering Rick's immense influence on the whole Hippie scene of the Sixties, how profound it was that Rick had his fatal motorbike accident in 1991 on the exact date of the first day of the Woodstock Festival (August 15 - 1969); was in a coma for the 'date-duration' of the three day festival that had occurred 22 years before; and then finally shrugged off his mortal coil the following day when the Woodstock festival had finally come to an end (i.e. August 18).