Mike Siordia was a normal kid who grew up surfing and skating in the South Bay, first surfing in his hometown of Hermosa Beach when he was 9 years old in 1994. But when he grew older he found himself the “black sheep” of the Hermosa Beach Pier because of his attraction to the old-school longboard.
“I got a lot of hell for that,” said Siordia.
Siordia eventually moved to Santa Cruz and came back where he bartended and professionally surfed to “make an extra buck.” Then he moved to Los Angeles and “found real culture.” Siordia returns to his home town with the art show “Iconoclast,” which opens at ShockBoxx Gallery Saturday, Oct. 20, from 6 to 10 p.m.
“There’s a lot going on, there’s a lot of fun happening, and there’s a lot of great collaboration,” said Siordia of the Echo Park area where he now lives. “ I don’t see it so much at the beach. I’m trying to come back to where I grew up, where my surfboards are made and bring it back to the youth that is now growing up.”
“Iconoclast” highlights the work of several artists, from a cartoonist to a muralist, and features the music of three bands including Country Breakfast, Clue LA and The Helen Hannas.
“The whole show is tied into the fact that everyone involved is a surfer, as far as I’m concerned the real surfer, the subculture that once was,” Siordia said. “We don’t dress or look like surfers. Everyone’s talented at it, but it's like a different approach. All of my artists have a different approach to their surf art, it’s not your clean Beach Boys kind of look. Some things are very dark.”
Siordia's father and uncles surfed in the 60s and 70s and he was drawn to the longboard scene of that time period. He grew up in the punk rock scene while attending Mira Costa High School before moving to Santa Cruz for college. Locally, he managed Hot's Kitchen Bar, tended bar at Barnacles and was involved in the Hotdogger Championships since its inception.
When he started hanging out in LA, he found a different crowd interested in music, food and having a good time. A friend owned an art gallery in Silver Lake that inspired him since it brought a community of like-minds together.
Siordia, whose boards are all made in Hermosa Beach, founded the “movement” he calls “The Bandits” two years ago that has a goal of producing flea markets, art shows or music events. “Iconoclast” is the first of these events that he hopes will be quarterly around Los Angeles.
Siordia wants shows like “Iconoclast” to open eyes in the South Bay.
“Growing up in the South Bay, there was the bubble we called it and that’s what it still is,” Siordia said.
“We thought Long Beach was really far away, we thought downtown LA was super far away. We would never go to a show out there. It's very close and there’s a lot going on. Those are hotbeds of culture and you got to get out of here to see what else is going on. So instead of trying to force you to get out of here, I’m going to try and bring the surrounding areas to us and maybe open some eyes.”
ShockBoxx is located at 636 Cypress Ave.
For more information, visit shockboxxproject.com.