Geoff McFetridge is a Los Angeles based artist and ﬁlmmaker. A graduate of Cal Arts, he has worked primarily in the world of graphic design, creating graphics and logotypes for companies such as ESPN, Burton Snowboards, Nike, Girl Skateboards, Stussy and others. His ﬁrst foray into galleries was a 1997 solo exhibition at George’s in Los Angeles. The show introduced his work to photographer and ﬁlmmaker Soﬁa Coppola who commissioned him to create the title graphics for her 1999 ﬁlm, The Virgin Suicides. McFetridge has since mounted exhibitions of his work in New York, Berlin, London, Paris and Tokyo and was included in the 2003 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Triennial, New York. In addition to prints, his installations have included everything from furniture, ﬁlm, fabrics and silkscreened wallpaper. Outside the art world, McFetridge’s designs have been featured on t-shirts, album covers, stickers, buttons, patches, and even athletic shoes.
Can you talk a bit about your core imagery? Bears are a strong theme in your work, along with a childlike quality. Are there any themes you are strongly attracted to?
I do end up adding bears here and there, not in any conscious way. I grew up around bears in Canada so bears represent some speciﬁc things to me. They are both cute and dangerous. When a bear attacks you it goes for your head, chewing at your kneck and skull. You are supposed to cover your head with your hands. Can you imagine getting your hands eaten by a bear as it tries to get to your head? Knowing this I still want to hug a bear when I see one. The childlike themes, yeah. Again, this is not a conscious thing. I think that the type of things I like to talk about in my work pushes me towards child-like imagery, or imagery that is quite friendly and unsophisticated. But that is the surface. What is important about what I do is that the images are separate from the ideas. The images are a tool of distraction, or bait, triggers. I am interested in imagery that is USEFUL, I want them so they can be transformed into ideas. So the imagery changes and develops over time but the ideas largely remain the same.