Rock Concert Artist
Does that title bring to mind a guy with formal academic training @ Cooper Union, NY – Yale – SF Art Institute and taught there as well? Meet rock concert artist Victor Moscoso. We’ll wax endearingly about all of the classic -golden era rock concert poster artists (Wes Wilson, Stanley “Mouse”, Alton Kelley, Rick Griffin and more) but, Moscoso was the exception to the rule.
It does not come down to a matter of style or who’s the better artist or possibly who had more experience – that is all relative to the viewers style and taste. We are talking strictly about formal education in art. Now, this was a good thing and a bad thing as it turned out. According to him -the structure and rules of his formal art education had to be torn down and rewired in order to experience the freedom he needed to excel in poster art. Wow! Artist sacrifices for his art, yet again.
This is amazing to me. I have been an admirer of cartoonist, artist, teacher and rock concert artist Victor Moscoso for many, many, years. Now, to discover the struggle and reversing of academic knowledge just to do rock concert posters…sounds pretty incredible now. But really, it goes perfect with the 1960s mentality. Being experimental, being free, and liberating (I think were his words) were the direction & expression of art, music, and the counter culture itself. I’ll give you a couple of quotes here that I feel are relevant and capture the essence of this era and comment on fine art vs. commercial art.
“The 1960s were where fine art and commercial art met. It was a great time, it meant breaking all the rules” – Stanley Mouse
“It’s all commercial: The Sistine Chapel is a commercial illustration for the Catholic Church.” – Victor Moscoso
According to my research – he began the poster art as a resident of Haight Street (of the legendary “Hippie” Haight-Ashbury intersection) somewhere in 1966. He said “It was cheap and the neighbor hood just kinda sprang up-we had no idea we were “cutting edge” at the time. From this quote I get the feeling that Mr. Moscoso was one first to make it on the scene and producing rock concert posters for Chet Helms and Avalon Ballroom
(We will actually get into the origin and evolvement of psychedelic poster art in another post)
Growing up in Brooklyn comes with street smarts and Victor was no exception to the rule. After much training and school…”On The Road” – Jack Kerouac was published in 1959 he was compelled to move west to California.
Well that is a brief introduction to our featured rock concert artist Victor Moscoso. Next up: more about his history, artistic heritage, accolades and what made his rock posters stand out from the rest.