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Monthly Archives: September 2018

1960s’ Psychedelic Artists

The works of the following famous artists inundated the 60s decade and revolutionized the graphics as well as the commercial arts scenario! Thank God these mavericks chose to walk the less traveled road, else the world would have been deprived of the possibilities of a different but creative form of expression!

Warren Dayton
Warren Lloyd Dayton (March 1940-Present) is among the most distinguished psychedelic artists of the 60s and currently lives in Sierra’s, near California. He is an American illustrator, graphic designer and poster artists whose posters imbibe considerable psychedelic influence.

Vaughn Bode
Vaughn Bode (July 1941-July 1975) is known for his involvement in, and contribution to, underground comics, graphic design and graffiti. His best known creation is the comic strip character Cheech Wizard and a typical feature of his art style is the depiction of voluptuous women.

Barney Bubbles
Barney Bubbles (July 1942-November 1983) was an English graphic artist whose career involvements included painting, graphic design and directing music videos. Barney designed sleeves and albums for many popular music and rock bands including Quintessence, Hawkwind and Brinsley Schwarz.

Karl Ferris
An English photographer and graphic designer, Karl is a pioneer and chief innovator of what is known as psychedelic photography. He worked with Jimi Hendrix in the late sixties as his photographer and album cover designer.

Jimi Franklin
Jimi Franklin (1943-Present) is best known for his poster art incorporating armadillo motifs, which he later used to illustrate the 1st record album of psychedelic rock band Shiva’s Headband.

Hapshash and the Colored Coat
The Hapshash were a British graphics team who were active in the 1960s and are best known for their psychedelic posters which reflected strong art nouveau influences. They had promoted the appearances of such iconic bands as Pink Floyd.

John Hurford
John Hurford (1948-Present) is an English artist whose work is characterized by pronounced depictions of fantasy like landscapes and creatures and mythical beings. He has designed album covers for musicians like Judy Duble.

Alton Kelley
Kelley (June 1940-June 2008) was an American artist whose major works include designs for rock concerts and albums in the 1960s.

Abdul Mati Klarwein
Klarwein (April 1932-March 2002) was born in Germany and is an artist of the 60s whose work is influenced by surrealism as well as pop culture and his artworks reflect his penchant for depicting non Western deities and his interest in symbolism.

Bob Masse
Among the most distinguished poster artists of the 1960s, Bob Masse is still wears the crown of being Canada’s top rock poster artist. He is among the most coveted modern psychedelic artists whose works have garnered lots of attention and appreciation in the middle and latter part of the 60s.

Peter Max Finkelstein
Peter Max (October 1937-Present) is an American artist with German ethnicity and is well known for his iconic style of expression. His poster art style, popularly known as the Cosmic 60s art, could be seen on the walls of colleges and dorms all across America during the 60s.

Victor Moscoso
Moscoso (1936-Present) is an American psychedelic comic book artist, and designer whose best known works include posters for concerts and illustration of many underground comix.

Stanley Mouse
Born Stanley George Miller (October 1940-Present), Mouse is best known for his 1960s’ psychedelic rock concert poster and Grateful Dead’s album cover designs.

Martin Sharp
Sharp (1942-Present) is an Australian underground cartoonist, film-maker, song writer and artist. He is best known for his contribution to Australian and International pop art since the early 60s. His most popular works include psychedelic posters of Bob Dylan, Donovan, etc.

Gilbert Shelton
Shelton (May 1940-Present) is a prominent American cartoon artist who has also contributed towards underground comix arts. His most popular creations include The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Fat Freddy’s Cat, Wonder Wart-Hog, Not Quite Dead and the cover for Grateful Dead’s 1970s’ album Shakedown Street.

Dave Sheridan
Dave (June 1943-March 1982) was a remarkable American cartoon artist of the late sixties throughout the seventies. His famous works include Dealer McDope and Tales From The Leather Nun. He is also the co-creator of the The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers along with Gilbert Shelton and Paul Mavrides.

Keiichi Tanaami
Tanaami (1936-Present) is a Japanese artist and designer whose works have adorned many a print and film and his psychedelic paintings have been widely exhibited. He has over 50 solo exhibitions, spanning across the late 1950′ to the early 2000s, to his credit and has written more than thirty books and essays on painting, print and films.

John Van Hamersveld
Hamersveld (1941-Present) is a known for his designs for psychedelic bands’ albums and record jackets. He is a graphic artist and illustrator by profession and his most prominent works include the graphic designs of The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street and The Grateful Dead’s Skeletons in the Closet.

Wes Wilson
An American and psychedelic poster designer, Wilson (July 1937-Present) is well known for his design of the posters for Bill Graham of The Filmore. His style is synonymous with the peace movement and the 60s psychedelic art.

Mark Boyle
Born in Glasgow, Mark Boyle (May 1934-May 2005) was very active in the 1950s, having influenced the Underground subculture of 1950’s UK with his artistic creations. He is famous for his World Series work which he started working on in the late 1960s and which consists of recreation of various spots on the Earth’s surface that were selected randomly. Boyle has used natural materials from the sites of his creations as well as fiberglass and certain resins to create the specific artistic effects and impressions.

Apart from, the aforementioned icons, other brilliant psychedelic artists and famous painters of this genre include Pedro Bell, Fred Schrier, Ellis D Fogg, Amanda Sage, Rick Griffin, Alex Grey, etc. The unconventional has always attracted widespread attention but few have had the courage to walk the untrodden path. These artists dared to differ and create fantastic art bordering on surrealism that left the world amazed. Psychedelic art is for those who dare to foray into their subconscious – that plane of existence which does not fall along the lines of logic. This art form is a beautiful way to express the subconscious and give form to fantasy.

Characteristics of Realistic Art

Realism in visual arts is basically about moving over the interpretation, personal bias, subjectivity or emotionalism and depicting the painting theme in an empirical sense. Realists rejected the characteristics of Romantic art as they believed in portraying objects with a sense of objective reality. Thus, the artists didn’t use techniques to change the appearance of the object. For instance, an artist who follows the Realistic art tradition would never attempt to conceal any flaws in the object or scene he/she is painting. The Realism art movement can also be associated with the age of positivism. Positivism is all about gaining knowledge using scientific methods of observation and objective evaluation. In art, this translates to depiction of objects as they are. One must not allow subjectivity and imagination to affect the depiction of the objects. Realism in art is all about rejecting idealization. Those who follow the realistic tradition in art believe in an accurate portrayal of ordinary people and events. The artist’s muse shouldn’t be someone who is larger-than-life or glorious always. This explains why artists who follow this tradition didn’t believe in painting the Gods, Goddesses or heroes. Their aim was to depict the daily life with as much accuracy as possible.

Realists basically draw inspiration from contemporary life. The subject matter of their paintings generally includes daily scenes and ordinary people.They depict contemporary life in a realistic and accurate manner. For instance, after industrial revolution, many of the famous paintings from Realistic school of art depicted workers performing their tasks in factories. They tried to depict the workers as they looked. However ugly or unaesthetic the surroundings looked, the painter painted them with honesty, just as they existed. No changes were made to make them look aesthetically pleasing. If you go through the famous painters list, you will come across names such as Gustave Courbet, Honore Daumier, Jean-Francois Millet, John Singer Sargent, James McNeil Whistler, Jan Van Eyck and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. These were some of the famous painters who followed this art tradition. Movements such as the Ashcan School, the Contemporary Realist, and the American Scene Painters are also based on this art tradition. These painters believe in the painting what they see. The logic given by these artists is that the abstract objects, or the objects that are intangible or non-existent, don’t belong to the realm of painting.

The rejection of the Romantic art tradition is an important aspect of Realistic art. Painting ordinary people and daily scenes in a realistic manner is the objective of this form of art.

Techniques and Styles of Graffiti

Many times, you may wonder, how would you differentiate two pieces of graffiti artwork from each other, when everything looks the same. Just as I realized the explanation of all the points given below, I stopped to wonder!

Jumbled Graphic Graffiti

◾ Tag – Tagging is used as the basic form of calligraphy to render an artist’s name in a uniform color. It also depicts a writer’s signature. If the artist or the writer is associated with a crew, then the crew’s name or initials are contributed too. Graffiti tags are often spotted on the New York City subway trains and many freeways surrounding the city. Tags are created by spray paints, sketch pens or even markers.

◾ Throw-ups – Throw-ups is an artwork, not nearly as elaborate as a piece, but created by using few colors and are done very quickly and repeatedly. These styles of graffiti writing are done in bubble letters that are large-rounded, using one color that displays a uniform sync in the image. Of course the outlines are variably emblazoned.

◾ Wild-Style – Wild-style uplifts a work piece. It is honorably popularized even more by the graffiti artists like Tracy 168 and Zephyr in New York City. This style of graffiti writing implies the use of arrows, spikes, curves and connecting points and also interlocks different letters and designs to yield an image. Wild-style frequently are in the forms of 3D and for a naive to identify this form of style would take a historic period.

◾ Blockbuster – As the name suggests, this is the form of graffiti which makes large bold-block letters by covering maximum area on a given property. The art of painting blockbuster graffiti can be attained with two or more colors of paint using commodities like paint rollers.

◾ Heaven – Heaven! The name itself, does not give us a feeling which is anywhere touching the earth-level. In fact, it elevates our imagination to a very high level location. Well that’s right! These graffiti styles are scrawled on the tops of tall buildings, houses or even on freeway hoardings. This artwork sounds so risky and inexplicable, that graffiti artists pulling off to get such a master piece, must be bestowing mutual respect from their adversaries.

◾ Stencil – Using definite objects like stencils, creating different styles of graffiti gets simpler. By using spray cans, the evolved picture is still considered as a random image, but by holding a stencil against the wall and by merely spraying it, you can acquire a much more elaborate picture. In minimum time, a stencil graffiti style can be thrown up creating two or three layers of intricate pattern which you can quickly color. In modern days, this graffiti style has been taken hold by many graffiti writers, which was once made popular by Blek le rat and Banksy.

◾ Piece – Short for (masterpiece) is a painting consisting of at least three colors put so well together, that the efforts evolved to gain a piece for a masterpiece has earned respect as a legitimate art form. Compared to tags, pieces are much more complex, and are hard to do due to the efforts that the artists have put up with this graffiti style.

For a production of a piece, all these graffiti styles involve a vast imagination, great deal of efforts, planning and passion for the art.

Apart from the art of drawing graffiti, we shall see how these styles and techniques can be executed to get a clear picture to the emergence of this art.

Outdoor Wall Graffiti
Indoor Wall Graffiti

◾ Hip-Hop Graffiti – Hip-Hop that indicates the culture of the African-American population, is the most traditional form of graffiti.

◾ Challenge Graffiti – This graffiti style denotes that, someone “was here.”

◾ Invisible Graffiti – This form consists of sketched logos basically it’s symbolic.

◾ Poster Graffiti – This type of graffiti style is practiced on pictures or posters that shows faces of people; for instance: drawing hair on a bald celebrity’s head.

◾ Tree Graffiti – Graffiti that is carved on trees.
Each type of the above graffiti techniques are used on different platforms like the train cars, subways, freeways or they’re even showed up on walls.

Few Tips and Tricks to do Graffiti

◾ Study the history of graffiti and the work of early writers.
◾ Initiate your graffiti art first on letters and then pick up a complicated work.
◾ Practice the drawings and paintings on your sketch book with pencils,sketch pens and note down your ideas in it.
◾ Be creative, imaginative and develop your own art style.
◾ For practice, you can try the graffiti on your computer’s paint program or on a plank of wood found in spare.