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Denver Art Museum

Victor Moscoso "Psychedelic Experience"

Victor Moscoso "Psychedelic Experience"

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From: Denver Art Museum
Limited Edition: 44
Exhibition: The Psychedelic Experience: Rock Posters from the San Francisco Bay Area, 1965-71
Material: Printed 2-ply vinyl
Dimensions: 30" x 89" (76cm x 226cm)

Hanging Hardware Included



On December 9, 1966, the acts Oxford Circle, Lee Michaels, and Big Brother & The Holding Company played at the Avalon Ballroom, a small San Francisco venue. Posters and handbills for the event were designed by local artist Victor Moscoso. At the time, Moscoso was known for his illustrations and comic book art, and his fluid, psychedelic style was recognized and appreciated by trendsetters of the day. His poster for the event was simple in its conception but shows a complexity of execution and understanding of color usage.

Featuring a top-hatted man with pinwheel spiral eyes, the poster draws upon a very limited color palette of red, blue, and black. This allowed for affordable printing of the posters, and set clearly defined parameters for Moscoso. Within these restrictions, Moscoso unleashed all the dynamism, energy, and excitement of the music and its era. The spirals-as-eyes are repeated in the background in multiples, giving visual movement to the work that is at once disorienting and engaging, lending a three-dimensionality to the poster. Moscoso refers to this use of color as “vibrating”. Colors from opposite ends of the color spectrum, but matched in intensity and value, are placed next to one another. The points where the colors meet disorient the eye, distorting focus and giving the work a sense that the colors are pulsating or vibrating.

The Denver Art Museum's exhibition The Psychedelic Experience showcased these striking posters and the innovative artists who created them. The posters themselves are collectible vintage rock art, occasionally available in original printings, but never before in the large scale reproduction seen on these banners. The banners are available with the exclusive, express permission of the artist, Victor Moscoso and Rhino Records. Moscoso is one of the major psychedelic artists of the 1960s, and was one of "The Five" renowned artists of the Family Dog collective.

Moscoso text is stylized and sized to fit into defined areas, making the text itself convey a sense of energy and movement as part of the design. Above the image is a white area with light blue and red text that reads “The Psychedelic Experience”, and in black “Through July 19”. Below the image is a light blue area with red and black text that reads “Denver Art Museum”. Both sides of the banner are identical.


These banners were displayed around Denver, Colorado from March 21 through July 19 2009 to promote the exhibition The Psychedelic Experience: Rock Posters from the San Francisco Bay Area, 1965-71 at the Denver Art Museum.

About the Artist

Learn more about Victor Moscoso

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