Monday, March 7, 2011



Born in Spain, but grew up in Brooklyn, New York, Victor Moscoso was one of the most fascinating artists of the psychedelic era. The only academically trained artist among the leading poster designers, he relied on innovative optical effects that gave his psychedelic posters a unique "vibrative" quality.

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 in the 1960's.

Because of his early interest in art, he attended Cooper Union before transferring to Yale. 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.

Moscoso distilled the understanding of color relationships that he learned from Joseph Albers into his poster design work. 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.

Moscoso was also one of the main artists of the early American underground comix scene. Moscoso was one of the most important artists of Zap comix, the underground comic magazine started by Robert Crumb.

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