'100% Mambo Surf Showdown' Mambo Graphics poster
Established in 1984 by Dare Jennings and Andrew Rich, the Mambo label began as a backyard business screenprinting T-shirts for a small niche market in surfwear. The mix of surf culture, art and music influences resonated with Australian youth who loved the notoriety and controversy the designs characteristic of Mambo aroused in conservative middleclass Australia. The designs were vibrant, humorous, irreverent and of questionable taste but had broad appeal with youth both in Australia and overseas. The disintegration of accepted motifs and conventions, the portrayal of anti-realist and anti-rational popular iconography combined with imagery typifying Australian suburbia dominate Mambo designs.
The posters reveal that beneath the humour and amusing parodies, lies incisive insight, sympathy and expression of serious social concern. In parodying societys sacred cows, artwork created for Mambo in visual and linguistic form, challenges existing social mores while simultaneously providing a public forum for talented graphic artists to exhibit their work.
This is an important collection of posters and is significant for the contribution Mambo Graphics has made to Australian popular culture. Artists represented in the collection include Chris ODoherty (alias Reg Mombassa), David McKay, Gerry Wedd, Maria Kozic, Jeff Raglus, Jim Mitchell, Paul McNeil, Seenu, Rockin Jelly Bean and Marcelle Lunam.