Our cover this month, The Chambers Brothers (one of a set of two posters) by Victor Moscoso, sold for $1,625 at Swann Auction Galleries’ Vintage Posters auction on Aug. 1, 2018 in New York City. Moscoso, a Spanish-American artist, is best known for his psychedelic rock posters, the motif of which is synonymous with the 1960s in America. He decided to become an animator at an early age, after being inspired by an animated film. Educated at Yale University, Cooper Union and the San Francisco Art Institute, Moscoso was the first rock poster artist of that era with formal academic training and experience.
Moscoso, who still lives in the Bay Area, gained prominence with his psychedelic rock and roll poster art, created for various dance halls and clubs in San Francisco. A review of some of his work reveals a common theme—vibrant colors and photographic collage—with his unique lettering being so successful that it’s even been turned into a font.
His work was seemingly a rebellion against the traditional techniques taught during his studies, which he said he had to consciously unlearn, reminiscent of the counterculture and revolution in social norms occurring simultaneously during that time period. He achieved the 3D-esque feel of his 2D posters by a juxtaposition of two colors and intended to irritate the eye. His font was also intentionally difficult to read. In essence, viewers of Moscoso’s work could experience a trippy sensation (it was the era of sex, drugs and rock and roll, after all) sans the drugs.