Intoduction, is Psychedelig art, Art Nouveu?

You have probably seen some of the well-know psychedelic posters before. Even if you have never heard of the band features, you probably be able to guess what kind of music they played. 

This style has become a symbol of the psychedelic 60s. But these abstract forms, and curly, barely legible lettering. They weren't created in the 1960s. 
They came from a celebrated art movement, one that started almost a century earlier.

In the 1800s, new technology, electrical power, telephones, cars was changing the way the world worked and the way it looked. 
And some people, especially artists, living through this technological revolution were not so into all the new industries. To be blunt, they thought it was ugly. Artists at this time were not happy with how this new industry change the world, and therefore created a new global artist movement. Known as Art nouveau. 
The though behind Art nouveau; was making art reflect the vibrancy of city life. In other words: "trying to make the city pretty again".

They used flat, decorative patterns, feminine figures, and organic / plant motifs, often stylized with fluid, abstract forms. And this art was used on everything! This is because they believed that aesthetics should go hand in hand with utility. And no object was too mundane to be beautiful. 

What is psychedelic art?

But? What has art nouveau to do with the hippies?

As the late 1800s, the 1960s were a time of cultural upheaval. In the united states, the center of this change begins in san Fransisco, where thousands of young people began to move downtown. For things like protest, drum circles, and of course: Concerts. Lots and lots of concerts.
 Particularly dance concerts, featuring trippy, psychedelic music from bands like Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead.
And there was one major way to get people to come to your concerts: A good poster.
These now-iconic bands started out playing in small venues. To attract this new generations of hippies, they used work from a small group of artist who created a brand-new style for the posters. A style that takes inspirations from a variety of different design styles like: comic books, surrealism, and of course: art nouveau. 

By the mid-60s, Art Nouveau already had its re-born. Especially when it came to textiles - dynamic, floral designs were a natural fit for the hippie aesthetic. And when they started making new concert posters, these designers took those art nouveau designs and reinforced every aspect of it. Many characteristics from art nouveau are clearly inspired even copied to the psychedelic art. They used art nouveau feminine women, edge to edge detailing, two-dimensional illustrations, flowers, and abstract curves. Even the use of peacocks - which was big in art nouveau.. But with a radically different color palette.

Psychedelic art = "Art Nouveau on acid"

Instead of art Nouveau's soft pastels, psychedelic artists used intense, high contrast colors. Said to make your eyes "vibrate".
Some say it is a: visual experience of an LSD tripper.
This is where the highly associated typography from psychedelic and hippie times plays a big role. The letters are often bold, curly, cloudy and bearly readable. Psychedelic artists even soften the lines and obscuring the edges, making the text even harder to read. But it had its purposes..
 This was meant to grab your attention and keep you interested - at least for as long as it too to figure out what the poster was trying to tell you.
 "The result was a ton of posters that looked like art nouveau on acid."  

As the music of san fransisco spread throughout the world, so did the aesthetics. The artists behind them even became celebrities in their own way - a few of them got heir own spread in life magazine. 
The posters they made, their vibrating colors and winding lines - capture the energy of the 1960s. Just like the art nouveau ones represented the late 1800s. 
While these two-time periods don't mirror each other perfectly, both movements were able to create something that captures the feeling of changing world.
 And the art reflected that.

Photo on the top is from Art Nouveau. As you can see, the image in the bottom (psychedelic poster) has taken great inspiration and even used the corresponding image

The psychedelic art made by vistor moscoso. 

A great example of psychedelic art, using vibrant colors and flowy patterns creating a "trippy" vibe.

Example of todays interpretation of the psychedelic art form.

More fantastic work from artist:

Viberant colours
High contrasts
flowy, cloudy , wideling lines
Art Neveau style
Stylization of detail
Innovative warping- typography

* note that colours are very inporant in this art form. Using A lot of, vibrant, opposite colors

When What Why
1960s - In the '60s, a lot of people were experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs including marijuana, LSD and everything in between.

Wes Wilson was one of the best-known designers of psychedelic posters. Most well known for designing posters for Bill Graham of the The Fillmore in San Francisco, he invented a style that is now synonymous with the peace movement, psychedelic era, and the 1960s.

Moscoso was a formally trained graphic designer who borrowed from comic books, Victorian images, Art Nouveau, and pop art. He used the concept of vibrating colors to create the ‘psychedelic’ effect in many of his pieces. The vibration is achieved by taking colors from the opposite end of the color wheel, each one having equal value (dark to light) and intensity (brightness).

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