Psychedelic Poster Art
Victor Moscoso is an academically trained artist who emerged as one of the most respected psychedelic poster artists. His posters turn traditional colour theory on its head. He used his training in colour and simply did the opposite of what he was taught. He created evocative, vivid, erotic, patterned posters designed for the newly emerged psychedelic culture of San Fransisco in the late 1960’s. He utilized hand made font, photo collage, and op art to create a new aesthetic portraying psychedelic consciousness. He created “slow read” posters where the text was nearly unintelligible unless times was taken to stare into the image and sort out the dazzling effects of the contrasting colours and intense patterns.
Many of these posters were displayed in rock concert halls like the Matrix, Avalon Ballroom and the Fillmore. These concerts had improvisational rock music and elaborate light shows with coloured lights, projections and strobe lights. The poster’s colours would appear and disappear as the various coloured lights shined upon their surface further adding to the dynamics of the posters and the psychedelic aesthetic of the time.
Moscoso created works which are classic examples of the peak of psychedelic poster art and commercial graphic design. He changed the rules and developed a visual lexicon which juxtaposed psychedelic art and the traditional arts of the past. He moved from the simple design and subdued colours of the past to hot colours and use of the artistic hand.
Gastaut, Amelie and Criqui Jean-Pierre. Of the Wall Psychedelic Rock Posters from San Fransisco. Thames and Hudson 2005.
Hathaway, Norman and Nadel Dan. Electric Banana Masters of Psychedelic Art. Damiani. Bologna, Italy. 2011.
Owens, Ted and Dickson Denise. High Art: A History of the Psychedelic Poster. Sanctuary Publishing Limited. 1999.