The Psychedlic Movement

The psychedelic movement began in the mid 1960’s. Hugely influencing the culture of art, fashion, music, language, literature and philosophy. The movement was led by ‘The Baby Boomers’, who desired to create an egalitarian society after WWII, this era was a time of peace, love and freedom.

This was also a time of drug experimentation and sexual freedom which is where the music festival crusade began. Album covers, festival and concert posters, band logos began to be largely influenced by the psychedelic movement, this was the beginning of psychedelic art.

Left to right: LoboArt, Graphis

Psychedelic art aimed to mimic the sensation and experience of ‘tripping’ on hallucinogenic drugs which were huge during this era. Beautiful, bold, bright colours, curvilinear shapes, graphic designers utilised various techniques to deploy an atmosphere which caused the audience to feel the sensation of ‘tripping’ without the physical consumption of LSD.

The art style involves abstraction and manipulation of images such as birds, peace signs, and humans as well as typography. The psychedelic colour palette is extremely vibrant and bright, appearing to ‘pop’ out of the work. These are just a few of the techniques utilised by psychedelic artists and are evidently very different to any used by ‘traditional’ artists.

Left to right: The Mind Circle, Visual Arts Department

This piece is created by Wes Wilson, who is said to be the most iconic designer of psychedelic poster art. Wilson created album covers and posters for many of the biggest bands and musicians of the 1960’s including ‘The Doors’ (as seen in this visual) and ‘The Beatles’.

Source: Collectors Weekly

This album cover for “The Doors”, evidently falls under the category of psychedelic art due to the ‘trippy’ effect it gives the viewer, this is achieved by visually communicative techniques.

The curvilinear text used throughout the piece creates a ‘trippy’ effect and can be quite difficult to read, forcing the audience to look deeper into the ‘looking at it’ – the audience, regardless of knowing the effects of LSD or not, can understand and feel what ‘tripping’ is like. This was one of the goals set out by psychedelic artists and was achieved by Wilson’s works. Furthermore, the contrasting colours of the lime green background and electric blue text adds to the playful, hallucinogenic mood of the artworks. This is evident with the reds and white featured in the bird, enhancing the illusory, 3D-like effect.

The abstraction and manipulation of the bird, shapes and text, again, reinforces this psychedelic atmosphere for the poster as a strong sense of movement is successfully created. This is juxtaposed to the ‘normal’ woman’s face on the right hand side of the page who is seen with drooping eyes. The woman’s face juxtaposed to the aspects mentioned above, directly communicates the reference/inspiration of an acid trip as it is as though everything we are seeing on the poster is what the woman is seeing too.

As you can see through Wes Wilson’s artwork for “The Doors”, psychedelic art is an experience in itself which has the ability to make the audience feel as though as they are experiencing life during this period of the 1960’s.

This piece is created by Wes Wilson, who is said to be the most iconic designer of psychedelic poster art. Wilson created album covers and posters for many of the biggest bands and musicians of the 1960’s including ‘The Doors’ (as seen in this visual) and ‘The Beatles’.

This album cover for “The Doors”, evidently falls under the category of psychedelic art due to the ‘trippy’ effect it gives the viewer, this is achieved by visually communicative techniques.

The curvilinear text used throughout the piece creates a ‘trippy’ effect and can be quite difficult to read, forcing the audience to look deeper into the ‘looking at it’ – the audience, regardless of knowing the effects of LSD or not, can understand and feel what ‘tripping’ is like. This was one of the goals set out by psychedelic artists and was achieved by Wilson’s works. Furthermore, the contrasting colours of the lime green background and electric blue text adds to the playful, hallucinogenic mood of the artworks. This is evident with the reds and white featured in the bird, enhancing the illusory, 3D-like effect.

The abstraction and manipulation of the bird, shapes and text, again, reinforces this psychedelic atmosphere for the poster as a strong sense of movement is successfully created. This is juxtaposed to the ‘normal’ woman’s face on the right hand side of the page who is seen with drooping eyes. The woman’s face juxtaposed to the aspects mentioned above, directly communicates the reference/inspiration of an acid trip as it is as though everything we are seeing on the poster is what the woman is seeing too.

As you can see through Wes Wilson’s artwork for “The Doors”, psychedelic art is an experience in itself which has the ability to make the audience feel as though as they are experiencing life during this period of the 1960’s.

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