Some aspects of Psychedelic Art:
1) ‘Psychedelic’ means mind infesting. The psychedelic state was usually induced by drugs such as LSD.
2) Often features fantastical and surrealist aspects.
3) Kaleidoscopic elements are often used.
4) Swirls, circles and diffraction patterns are also common.
5) Usually very colourful. Often rainbows or highly contrasting colours are used.
6) Lettering is usually done by hand.
7) Became popular in the 1960’s when a lot of album art was created with a psychedelic style.
8) Now often done digitally.
Brian Exton. An example of digital psychedelic art, using fractals and bright colours.
Salvador Dalí was Spanish surrealist painter, who was well known for his bizarre and surrealist works. However, he was also experienced in other forms of art such as photography, sculpture and writing and even filmmaking. Along with the surrealist film director, Luis Buñuel, he made the famous short film ‘Un Chien Andalou’ (An Andalusian Dog). He tended to employ entensive symbolism in his work. The theme of time is often explored in his work. Though not exclusively psychedelic, Dalí’s art certainly has elements of the surreal.
Alex Grey is an American artist born in 1953. He specializes in spiritual and psychedelic art. From a young age, death fascinated the artist. As a child, he collected dead insects and animals in surburban neighbourhood. Several of his works have themes of death within them. He is best known for his ‘X-Ray’ paintings, which are an integration of body, mind, soul and spirit. He often paints in excruciating anatomical detail. His art has been used by the occasional rock musician on their albums, such as Nirvana, Tool and Beastie Boys.
Richard Alden Griffin was born in 1994 in the United States. He was an artist and designer of psychedelic posters in the 1960s. The psychedelic underground comic, ‘Zap Comix’ often featured his work. He was influence by other psychedelic artists such as Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley, and his first exhibition was for the musical group ‘Jook Savages.’ From there, he became a popular poster artist for several parties such as ‘Family Dog’ and ‘The Charalatans’.
Mati Klarwein was born in Germany, 1932, and is a painter best known for his work on music albums. One of Klarwein’s paintings, ‘Annunciation’ was used famously on Santana’s album ‘Abraxas’. He had also worked on album art for Buddy Miles and Miles Davis. Mati was well learned in several of the arts, including writing, music and film, and was had travelled much around the world as he worked. He is known to speak no less than six different languages.