Vanning is a compulsion, an obsession, an occupation, an affliction, a fascination, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it, must. Those who don't, think it's a waste of time. For me it is a calling.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017


         First in a new series of art prints. From the archives of  
                                 Ed "Big Daddy" Roth.

  In the early 60's Ed Roth was one of the premier custom car builders in the world. He built cars because he loved doing it. Car show promoters wanted him and his cars in their shows.  His way of making a living was to sell merchandise at these shows. He did a lot of airbrush t-shirts in those days. He came up with the idea of doing a caricature of a customers car.  Some with wild creatures protruding from the  top. Thus the monster shirt was born.
      But the most popular thing he painted was his iconic creation Rat Fink!. He soon was printing Rat Fink silk screen style on shirts. He soon augmented these with other designs and characters.  Ed created a lot of very cool art for these shirts. hundreds of designs thru the years.  Many had vehicles that were make and model specific. Some were general statements, patterned after the hipsters of the day. 
    As an artist I have come to love the art that Ed had created. He didn't actually draw all of it. He hired several artists over time to draw his designs, or rework existing designs.  In my opinion these designs should be preserved.  Many of the original drawings have been lost. Especially the ones from the early days.  Ed's art is as important to pop culture and modern art as the likes of Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali. The likelihood of his art surviving being printed on t-shirts isn't very high.  My intentions are to produce his art in a form that will insure its survival.
   These serigraphs are printed the same way Ed would have printed his shirts. One at a time. All by hand. 
   The first one done is the Dodge Van art.  Why?  Because I am a van guy and I have a couple of these vans. Artist prerogative I guess. But also because these designs were all but forgotten. Ed had hundreds of designs on screens that were on the shelf, but rarely got printed. I have been privy to a lot of these. There are many very cool designs that haven't seen the light of day for years.    

    The first time I saw these van designs they were on water slide decals that Ed had done. I am not sure when they were originally drawn. My guess is that they were drawn by Robert Williams, but I am not sure about that.
  The first serigraphs are all van designs. The Dodge, and Ford vans are completed. There will soon be a Chevy van and a Volkswagen bus, all original Roth designs. There will also be an original  Econoline van art drawn by me, included in this group. 
     The original drawings not being available, I had to redraw them in order to make the screens. Close attention was paid so as to make them as close to the originals as possible.
    There are 4 vans in this series I plan to do all of them this way.
It takes a fair amount of time to do one of these. Eventually I hope to do some more of the old designs.
      The original Rat Fink serigraph was done some 20 years ago, for the 30th birthday of Rat Fink. That is where the germ of this idea came from. It was done exactly the same way I am doing these designs. 

   I am patterning these after the series Ed did with Doug Nason in the early 90's. There were several runs of the Rat Fink. There were 63 of each run. One on a white background. One on black, and one that was the black line art only that Ed color bombed the same way he colorized the t-shirts in the early days of the Roth studios.

      63 was picked since the official birthday of Rat Fink was 1963. The serigraphs that we will be doing will be the same amount 63. There will be 50 of each in full color and 13 that will be line art and colorized using the same techniques that Ed used on his first series. 

     Each print comes with a certificate of authenticity on the back. complete with series info and artist signatures and signed by Ed's widow, "Trixie" Roth.
   The overall size of the Dodge print is 18 by 24 inches. The Ford print is slightly larger, 19 by 25. They were printed on 140 lb. cover style, archive quality, French paper. Using high quality aqua based printing inks.    

       It will be a while before the van series is complete. I am doing this with the help of a fellow artist, Matchstick. He is a screen printing and sheet metal artist working for Gene Winfield, residing in Lancaster California.  His help has been invaluable. 
     The price for these serigraphs is $100.00 each. Depending on how many are left when the van designs are complete, there could be a price for a complete set. That will be determined later.
      I plan to have them all completed no later than the end of this year. If you are interested, keep checking here for updates. They can be purchased at my on line store at

      Thank you for your time.  The Big Daddy Lives!.....   Coop