Ben Brown’s illustrations have been proliferated through an extensive range of publications, apparel companies and music industry commissions. His work has featured in Rolling Stone magazine, has promoted performers including Nirvana and Pearl Jam and his graphics continue to be sought after by clients such as Hurley and Mambo.
Damo: What’s your first memory of the Screaming Hand? Where does it take you back to?
Ben Brown: I used to work illustrating and designing for skate companies in Australia back in the day and was a keen skater myself – It takes me back to skating at the Kierle Park Half pipe in Manly in the mid to late eighties, with a portable beat box blasting
Minor Threat, Black Flag, The Hard Ons and Massappeal.
Santa Cruz was the bench mark for graphics with Jim Phillips work. The Screaming Hand was just one of many excellent pieces of work he produced – I had been a fan since I was a little kid reading surf mags his work featured in the 70’s – so I was familiar with his work with the Screaming Hand became more prominent over a long period of time.
Damo: In your opinion, what do you think the Screaming Hand has contributed towards the scene over it’s life?
Ben Brown: Its just one of those great images that you love as a sticker / an ad or a T-shirt. I guess it just makes people happy. That is a pretty good contribution!
Damo: What do you think the future may hold for such an iconic image?
Ben Brown: It’s firmly entrenched in the culture of skateboarding. Like the classic Bones graphic, or the Thrasher magazine logo… they are iconic and have real credibility. In surfing you have Gerry Lopez and the Lightning Bolt logo. All these things represent a certain era and time in the development of underground cultures. They are historic. I don’t know what the future holds for such iconic images.
Damo: How does it feel to be selected to be involved in the project?
Ben Brown: Naturally I’m very happy to be involved with a project like this. I have always loved skateboarding and punk rock cultures for the DIY, outsider, ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude that encompasses the lifestyle. It;s great to express ideas and images for a broader audience and to be included in such a fantastic group of artists.
It’s great to drink beer and party and celebrate these fun things!
Damo: Why did you choose to represent the image in this way?
Ben Brown: Around the time the Screaming Hand image was created – I was creating
a lot of posters, handbills, stickers and LP covers for the punk rock scene
that was flourishing in the Australian underground. One of the projects I worked
on was an LP cover for Sydney band Massappeal. The record itself and the imagery
went on to be pretty influential and iconic in that scene. All these years later I thought it would be fun to mash the two images together.