Psychedelic Art Essay

Psychedelic Art Essay-32
Yet Grunenberg misrepresents people like Lucas Samaras and Andy Warhol as “psychedelic artists.” Warhol may have invented the psychedelic palette and produced his own light show, but he and his crowd were notoriously anti-flower-child. As Hickey recently quoted Lou Reed, “I’d rather be found dead in some bathroom stall with a spike in my arm than share spit [on a joint] with some hippie.” The highs of this show are probably the pulsating films of James Whitney and the great Jordan Belson, and the light shows of Thomas Wilfred and Joshua White.The installation by designer Verner Panton is cool, too. The late sixties were supposedly out of control, but the psychedelic style is maniacally controlling—every area of every poster is hypermanaged.Mc Kenna and others believed that mushrooms are trying to tell us something in some cosmic fungal language— a bit of madness that arguably is more in tune with the thinking of today’s artists than a show of Beatles album covers is.

Yet Grunenberg misrepresents people like Lucas Samaras and Andy Warhol as “psychedelic artists.” Warhol may have invented the psychedelic palette and produced his own light show, but he and his crowd were notoriously anti-flower-child. As Hickey recently quoted Lou Reed, “I’d rather be found dead in some bathroom stall with a spike in my arm than share spit [on a joint] with some hippie.” The highs of this show are probably the pulsating films of James Whitney and the great Jordan Belson, and the light shows of Thomas Wilfred and Joshua White.The installation by designer Verner Panton is cool, too. The late sixties were supposedly out of control, but the psychedelic style is maniacally controlling—every area of every poster is hypermanaged.Mc Kenna and others believed that mushrooms are trying to tell us something in some cosmic fungal language— a bit of madness that arguably is more in tune with the thinking of today’s artists than a show of Beatles album covers is.

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As seen in this hippie theme park, psychedelic art is a set of tendencies that includes artists and isms like Beardsley, Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, Louis Sullivan, rococo, Pre-Raphaelitism, Art Nouveau, Dada, Surrealism, Pop, and Op.

Moreover, Sharp’s semi-Gothic, neo-Art Nouveau style was the very epitome of psychedelic aesthetics. Contrast Mc Namara’s remarks to those made in May of 2010 by Obama’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who said; “We’re not leaving Afghanistan prematurely, in fact, we’re not ever leaving at all.” An anthropomorphized kangaroo figure holding a boomerang is depicted in the upper left corner of the poster; the caricature is of John Gorton, the pro-Vietnam war Prime Minister of Australia who governed from January 1968 to March 1971. The philosophy that was acted out there is perhaps best expressed in a quotation by a musician who performed at the momentous happening, Richie Havens: “Woodstock was not about sex, drugs, and rock & roll.

His acerbic but fanciful caricatures were drawn with detailed though fluid pen lines, and when combined with vibrant fluorescent orange and black ink, an eye-popping visual was achieved. could win the war militarily, by May 1967 Mc Namara informed LBJ that the war was “becoming increasingly unpopular as it escalates - causing more American casualties, more fear of its growing into a wider war, more privation of the domestic sector, and more distress at the amount of suffering being visited on the noncombatants in Vietnam, South and North.” Six months later LBJ would remove Mc Namara from his post. The event however had enormous impact that reached far beyond those who came together on Yasgur’s farm.

What was the Whitney thinking when it took this exhibit and gave it two whole floors?

Setting aside the museum’s hopes for big summer box office, maybe the reason a show like this exists—and why so many younger artists revisit the era—is so that anyone who came of age after the seventies might muse about the last generation on earth that had the luxury to think about sex without at least a passing thought of death.

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