The word "psychedelic" means "mind manifesting". Psychedelic art is any art or visual displays inspired by psychedelic experiences and hallucinations known to follow the ingestion of psychoactive drugs such as LSD and psilocybin. Many Psychedelic works are famous for their visually captivating styles, but the movement also generated considerable controversy for its links to illicit substances.
The psychedelic style peaked between 1966 and 1972. Many works, especially evident in concert and event posters, depicted a strong color palette. Spirals could often be found in Psychedelic works as well as concentric circles and a repetition of motifs or symbols. Collage is important to the Psychedelic style and many works could also be included in the collage genre. Surrealist subject matter was another major component of the style. Certain exotic motifs like paisley were also at the heart of many Psychedelic works. Psychedelic art was inspired by Art Nouveau, Victoriana, Dada, and Pop Art.
Artists included Peter Max, Mati Klarwein, Pablo Amaringo, Roger Dean, and Robert Williams. Even the artist Salvador Dali became associated with the Psychedelic Art style.
The Psychedelic movement had a strong influence on comic book artists who created an underground genre of comic book art known as “underground comix.”
Max was born in 1937 in Germany. He was known for using bright colors in his work. His most well-known work was the Yellow Submarine series created for The Beatles. He has painted for six U.S. Presidents and his art is on display in Presidential Libraries and in U.S. Embassies.
Robert Williams was born in 1943, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. one of the original Zap Comix artists. Williams was known for his 1979 painting Appetite for Destruction, which provided both the title and cover art for Guns N’ Roses’ debut album.