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Psychedelic Poster Art Pioneers


The Joint Show

The Joint Show brought together for the first time the psychedelic poster art being created by the leading pioneers of the “psychedelic” concert poster: Wes Wilson, Alton Kelly, Stanley Mouse, Rick Griffin, and Victor Moscoso. Soon thereafter, the art they created would be celebrated at countless gallery shows, in museum collections, and at arts exhibitions worldwide. Here’s the story of how these artists came to be in San Francisco at the dawn of the 60s counterculture, and how the psychedelic poster art movement they created quickly swept the world.

Featured Posters from The Joint Show (click on images for full description):

Wes Wilson

Wes Wilson is generally acknowledged as the father of the 60s rock concert poster. In 1968, he received an award from the National Endowment for the Arts for “his contributions to American Art.” He pioneered what is now known as the psychedelic poster. READ THE FULL TEXT

Featured Posters by Wes Wilson (click on images for full description):

Alton Curtis Kelley

  • June 5, 2008; The New York Times: “Alton Kelley’s posters helped define the visual style of the 1960s counterculture.”
  • June 3, 2008; San Francisco Chronicle: “The work of Mr. Kelley and Mouse has come to be recognized as a 20th century American counterpart to the French poster art of Henri de Toulouse Lautrec during the Belle Epoque”
  • June 3, 2008; Stanley Mouse: "he had the most impeccable taste of anybody I knew. He would do the layouts, and I would do the drawing."
  • Alton Kelley: “Stanley and I had no idea what we were doing ... But we went ahead and looked at American Indian stuff, Chinese stuff, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modern, Bauhaus, whatever.” READ THE FULL TEXT

Featured Posters by Alton Kelley (click on images for full description):

Stanley Mouse

His father was an artist who had worked as an animator for Walt Disney on the 1937 film Snow White, so it was natural for Stanley Miller to grow up drawing pictures and cartoons around the family dinner table in Detroit, Michigan. He could draw a perfect circle when he was five. When a grade school friend gave Stanley the nickname “Mouse O’Miller,” he started signing and writing things as 'Mouse.' It caught on and everybody knew him as "Mouse," instantly, in grade school. READ THE FULL TEXT

Featured Posters by Stanley Mouse (click on images for full description):

Rick Griffin

Drawing on influences as diverse as Native American culture and the California surf scene, Rick Griffin produced psychedelic poster art, album sleeves, and logos of such brilliance that they are among the primary images associated with Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, , and other legendary performers. His poster for the Human Be-In in 1967 in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, advertised as the “Gathering Of Tribes,” promoted the event that kicked off the Summer of Love. His logo for Rolling Stone magazine set its visual style. READ THE FULL TEXT

Featured Posters by Rick Griffin (click on images for full description):

Victor Moscoso

Victor Moscoso was the first of San Francisco’s “Big Five” psychedelic poster artists to have his work shown in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Moscoso pioneered the use of vibrating colors to create the ‘psychedelic’ effect in poster art. His work is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and in the Library of Congress. His Neon Rose series of posters is one of the crown jewels of the psychedelic poster era. READ THE FULL TEXT

Featured Posters by Victor Moscoso (click on images for full description):

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