Dukepope's blog about art, design, music and technology.

Posts tagged “psychedelic

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Visions of the Future: Science fiction art from 1976

I scanned these images from a book found in Keith Fawkes Books in Hampstead, London. It’s the messiest and most chaotic bookshop I’ve ever been into, but those are the kind of places where strange treasures like “Visions of the Future” can be found. The subtitle reads: “An exciting and novel selction of science fiction art of today”. The book was a British publication, featuring at the time young British artists. Judging from a quick round on google, most of them seem to be active still. So there is plenty of inspiration out there! Here are five of my favourite artworks from the book, which stood out among all the weird and funky sci-fi kitsch.

Bob Fowke – Eden

Bob Haberfield – Nova

Chris Foss – Early Asimov 2

Ray Feibush – Far out worlds

Tim White – Darkness of Diamondia


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Victor Moscoso, the Grand Old Master of Psychedelic Art

Allthough Wes Wilson is seen as the father of the psychedelic rock poster, the poster art of Victor Moscoso stands for me as the archetypal expression of the hippie era. With vibrating colours and psychedelic imagery, his posters take you straight back to that special vibe of the late 1960s San Fransisco. Victor Moscoso was born in Spain in 1937, but moved with his family to Brooklyn, New York three years later, where he spent most of his youth and childhood. He went on to study art at Yale under the supervision of Josef Albers, whose color theory later became an important inspiration for him. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road was a motivating factor for Moscoso to move on to California and San Fransisco in 1959. But it wasn’t until 1967 with the Summer of Love that Victor Moscoso rose to international fame, with his posters for the Avalon Ballroom (whose concerts featured artists such as Janis Joplin and the Doors). There is an excellent interview with him at The Comics Journal, for those who would like to read more about his fascinating life and refreshing take on art. Victor Moscoso is still active as an artist.

Victor Moscoso Quicksilver MessengerVictor Moscoso Miller Blues BandVictor Moscoso Family DogSONY DSC


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Pink Elephants on Parade

If you happened to watch Dumbo as a kid, you might remember the scene where dumbo falls into a tub filled with champagne and accidentialy becomes intoxicated by alcohol. Dumbo’s hallicunations however are quite wild, and point in the direction of something else having found its way into the drink. Did Disney’s animators draw inspiration from some other, more exotic substance, back in 1941 when they created this segment of the Dumbo movie? I guess we will never know, but in any case “Pink Elephants on Parade” remains one of the most colourful and fantastic moments in the history of animated cartoons.


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Make Me Psychic: An absurd, comic animation short by Sally Cruikshank

This surrealistic animation from 1978 is a real feast for the eyes, so full of wonky weirdness you can not avoid being amazed. It’s a bit like seventies counter culture meets Betty Boop and Koko the clown in outer space. In fact Sally Cruikshank has admitted to being influenced by Fleischer Studios (who made Betty Boop) – but that said, she is a one of a kind genius – owing her success to a wildly creative imagination. In addition to making her own movies, Sally Cruikshank worked for many years producing short animations for Sesame Street. The inspiration for this film seems to be the flimsy world of healing, astrology and new age hocus-pocus.


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Love & Theft: A Crazy Trip to Psychedelic Cartoon Land

This short film by German animator Andreas Hykade takes you on a spastic journey back and forth through cartoon history, with short detours via evolution and psychedelic trip.


Street Musique by Ryan Larkin, a Psychedelic Animation Short from 1972

Canadian animator Ryan Larkin has sadly become just as well known for his unfortunate life story, as his powerful animations. After being nominated for Oscars with “Walking” in 1969, he followed up the success with this amazing little film in 1972. Unfortunately, Street Musique became the last complete movie he made. Somehow Larkin ended up on a path of alcoholism, drug abuse and homelessness. A few years before his death in 2007, he did however have a little comeback; as the director of the music video “spare change”, but only as a vague shadow the creative genius he once used to be.


Inspiring Artwork From Behance.net

Behance is sort of the facebook for graphic designers and illustrators. It has a great layout and is good for promoting you own art and discovering other creative talents. In my opinion though, there is an overrepresentation of the less creative digital designers, but that I guess is just as much a criticism of the design world and society as a whole. Here are works from a few artists I think stand out on behance:

Amrei Hofstätter is an animator and illustrator from Germany. I like her funky psychedelic 3-d style.
Robert Connett, from USA, paints psychedelic fantasy landscapes, reminding of the LP-Cover art of the seventies.
Pablo Alfieri is a graphic designer from Argentina, with a unique style of 3-D modelling.

John Clowder, from USA, makes surrealistic collages, reminding of Max Ernst and Erro.
Ivan Semesyuk, from Ukraine, makes hilarious textile art and paintings in a unique naive style.