Continuing on with my previous post on original psychedelic rock poster artists, we might ponder where the inspiration for such inventive, bold, brilliant works of art would come from. Many might say from the hallucinogens that were ingested at the time. And that would be the easy answer. But, if you examine the lives of these original psychedelic rock poster artists you will find deep-seated roots in art dating back to their childhood.
It’s not to say that the popular drugs of the day didn’t have influence in their work (the artists will tell you they did). However, drugs did not make them the brilliant artists they were (or are). You can uncover (actually in many pages of this blog) that the artists came from many backgrounds. Some cartoonists, some musicians, some with minimal accreditation and some with high honors in art instruction. With the innate talent they were born with, these original psychedelic rock poster artists were destined to be artists in one form or another.
In the 1960s it was an open playing field. The new generation wanted to rewrite almost every thing that had been the status quo. This meant not only to be an activist in art, music, literature, film and fashion–but important social and political issues of the day, as well. The germination of these new ideals would come to young minds through literature and discovering the world at large.
Personally, I believe books like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley were very potent. Bringing an ominous concept of a capitalist world in which people are genetically designed to be passive and useful to the ruling class. Concepts such as family, freedom, love, and culture are considered grotesque. Enough to start a fire? Considering the state of affairs of our country in the 1960s, maybe so.
After all the author was an extraordinary man who brought to his work a strong sense of the world into which he was born. There were many adorned relations in his bloodline. Including, his grandfather (Thomas Huxley) who helped Darwin realize his theory of evolution. So, even though this is a science fiction/dystopian novel, its ideals come from a credible & worldly source.
It is interesting that psychedelic art and surrealist art are similar in the fact that they both prescribe a mechanism for obtaining inspiration. One relies on the observance of dreams and the other on hallucinogens. Both tied to important developments in science, Freud’s theories of the unconscious and the discovery of LSD. The original psychedelic rock poster artists and their community were expanding their minds, their art, their freedoms and color the world unlike the stagnant black-and-white 50s. This would cause the so called Generation Gap and the youth of the country were ready to embrace it.