post12 ~ 1960’s

Posted: June 12, 2012 by natkiryk in Uncategorized

Victor Moscoso was one of the most fascinating artists of the psychedelic era.

Born 1936 in Oleiros, Spain, Moscosa is an artist best known for producing psychedelic rock posters/advertisements and underground comix in San Francisco during the 1960s and 1970s.


Victor was the first of the rock poster artists of the 60’s era with formal academic training and experience. After studying art at Cooper Union in New York City and at Yale University, he moved to San Francisco in 1959. There, he attended the San Francisco Art Institute, where he eventually became an instructor, and also forged a career as a free lance graphic designer.
At Yale, Moscoso studied with the modern colorist Joseph Albers, whose color theories were an important influence on Moscoso and the development of the psychedelic poster. He was the first of the rock poster artists to use photographic collage in many of his posters.
He started finding his visual style when he began designing posters for the big ballrooms of San Francisco, advertising such bands as Big Brother & The Holding Company, The Doors, The Grateful Dead and Steve Miller band.


Moscoso’s fame rests on the brilliant series of posters that he did for Chet Helms and the “Family Dog” and the “Neon Rose” series that he created for the Matrix. This would bring his work international attention in the “Summer of Love”, 1967 where in an eight month period he designed over 60 posters.

He would create an optical effect in the viewer by alternating deeply saturated primary colors. The juxtaposition of colors would create the illusion of the poster moving back in forth in space. Moscoso used more conventional typefaces than some of the other designers, usually letters with large serifs, but he bent and twisted them into interesting shapes that viewers had to strain to read. One of his trademarks was making type as illegible as possible. He also mixed art noueau and victorian art influences in his posters.


In the late 60’s as one of the Zap Comix Artists, Moscoso’s work, once again received international attention. Moscoso’s comix and poster work has continued up to the present and includes album covers for musicians such as Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Herbie Hancock, and David Grisman. He also created art for use on t-shirts, billboards, animated commercials for radio stations and more.
Moscoso is one of the central figures of 1960s counterculture underground art revolution. Along with Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, Wes Wilson and the late Rick Griffin, Moscoso holds a place in art history as one of “the big five” San Francisco psychedelic poster artists.
Today, Moscoso is still at the height of his powers and is he is in the process of completing a book on his life and work. He still lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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