The groovy look

groovy14.jpg

Peter Max, 1968.

Artists complain justifiably about the constraining effect of labels but sometimes you really do need a label in order to identify a particular idiom. The artwork here is what most people would regard as psychedelic even though the subject matter isn’t always psychedelic at all. I doubt that Citroën intended their new Dyane car to be associated with LSD when they asked Michel Quarez to create a comic book to promote the vehicle, while Quarez’s Mod Love comic is just as hallucinogenically chaste. I tend to think of this style as “groovy”, an unsatisfying term with other associations but “post-psychedelic”, while accurate, feels too cumbersome for such playful graphics. The groovy look is where the purely psychedelic style enters the mundane world, and where the intended audience may be youthful but isn’t always a crowd of experienced lysergic voyagers; a watering down of psych delirium mixed with a dash of Pop Art, all bold shapes, heavy outlines and very bright colours, comic art (or actual comics) with the edges and detail smoothed away and the gain pushed to the maximum. I keep wishing someone would put together a collection of this stuff. There’s a lot more to be found.

Update 1: I knew I’d forgotten somebody. I replaced the book cover by Gray Morrow—an artist who was never really groovy in the manner of these other works—with a contraception poster by Nicole Claveloux, who was very much in the Groove Zone in the 1970s.

Update 2: Added designs by Miguel Calatayud, Mike Hinge, György Kemény, and Tito Topin. Thanks to Vadim for the tips!

groovy01.jpg

Guy Peellaert, 1967.

groovy02.jpg

Guy Peellaert, 1968.

groovy03.jpg

Guy Peellaert, 1968.

groovy04.jpg

The Adventures of Jodelle by Pierre Barbier and Guy Peellaert, 1966.

Continue reading “The groovy look”

Weekend links 50

selski1.jpg

Invisible Light by Margo Selski.

The Glass Garage Fine Art Gallery has an online collection of paintings by Margo Selski, many of which feature her cross-dressing son, Theo. Coilhouse profiled artist and model earlier in the week. Some of these paintings mix oil with beeswax which is something I’ve not come across before.

• The Periwinkle Journal‘s first issue will be available online, free, from March 22nd until mid-June, featuring work by filmmaker and artist Hans Scheirl (Dandy Dust), artwork and collages by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, a 7-page colour comic by Mavado Charon, artwork by Timothy Cummings, artwork and installations by Cody Chritcheloe/SSION, photos by Megan Mantia, Science-Heroes by Peter Max Lawrence, an illustration portfolio by Diego Gómez, selections from the queer photography pool on Flickr, reviews and other stuff. More later.

• The Quietus wanted to remind us that this year is the 25th anniversary of the NME‘s C86 compilation tape, a collection that sought to capture a moment of ferment but which inadvertently inspired too much dreary sub-Velvet Underground pop. I’d rather celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NME‘s C81 compilation, a far more diverse collection and musically superior. If you want to judge for yourself, both tapes can be downloaded here.

selski2.jpg

Machine in the Garden — Our Island Shall Know Abundance Without End by Margo Selski.

• Rick Poynor continues his exploration of Ballardian graphics with a piece about the paintings of Peter Klasen. Related: Where Will It End? JG Ballard interviewed by V. Vale & introduced by Michael Moorcock (Arthur No. 15/March 2005).

In his autobiography, Miracles of Life, JG Ballard suggested that illustrated versions of The Arabian Nights helped prepare him for surrealism.

Robert Irwin, author of The Arabian Nightmare, on the illustrators of The Arabian Nights.

• Another Coulthart cult movie surfaces, Jerzy Skolimowski’s Deep End (1970), out of circulation for many years but newly restored by the BFI. A re-release is scheduled for May so I’m hoping now that a DVD release will follow soon after.

Thom Ayres’ photostream at Flickr, and more long-exposure photos.

Fuck You, A Magazine of the Arts, number 5, volume 8.

Nicolas Roeg: “I don’t want to be ahead of my time.”

• MetaFilter looks at the films of René Laloux.

• The Eerie covers of Frank Frazetta.

Indie Squid Kid.

Requiem (for String Orchestra) by Toru Takemitsu.

Weekend links 22

pota.jpg

Planet of the Apes Magazine #15 (1975), art by Bob Larkin.

I never read any of Marvel Comics’ Planet of the Apes titles but the painted covers of the American editions are evidence of a distinctly lurid imagination. An excess of drugs—this was the Seventies, after all—or mere enthusiasm? You decide. Related: “The Soft Intelligence”: 5 Underrated Literary Cephalopods by China Miéville. Kudos to him for mentioning The Sea Raiders (1896) by HG Wells, a favourite story of mine when I was 12.

octopussy.jpg

My ever-lovin’ octopussy (1970) by Jackie Black.

A Journey Round My Skull chooses selections from Ang Wyman’s flickr group Eye Candy (above), psychedelic illustration for children’s books by Nicole Claveloux, Peter Max, Heinz Edelmann and others.

• Watch out, there are “fancy gentlemen” about. It’s The Homosexual Menace!

• Design in opposition: Neville Brody announces the Anti-Design Festival.

• The Almias Rural Psychogeography Walk takes place on July 25th.

• Steven Heller on The Incredible Posters of Tadanori Yokoo.

Hipster Priest: Alan Moore interviewed at The Stool Pigeon.

FACT mix 167, a great selection by These New Puritans.

• The Orion Galaxy is a beautiful bespoke synthesizer.

• A radio portrait of Moondog at Speechification.

• RIP: Sugar Minott. RIP Tuli Kupferberg.

• Introducing Wizard’s Tower Press.

Octopus (1970) by Syd Barrett.

The art of Motohiko Odani

odani.jpg

Erectro (clara) (2004).

From Alice in Wonderland to something in a similar, if freakier, vein. Unlike many contemporary artists, Odani doesn’t do the same thing over and over, there’s a very varied selection of work at the Yamamoto Gendai gallery. Many of the other artists there are also worth a look, the Peter Max-like pictures by Yayoi Deki many even be called (yes, that word again…) psychedelic.