Mad Peck Studios Prints

Prints cost $10 each.

To order any of the prints shown below, send an e-mail to ryeremian@aol.com.

No discounts to former roadies, girlfriends, etc. Each print is signed and dated by the Mad Peck.

All images were digitally scanned from the original prints, or reconstructed from the mechanical art, and laser printed on card stock. images 2, 5, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, and 17 were originally silk-screened prints., some in various color combinations. 3, 4, 7, 13, 16, 18, and 19 were printed on offset presses. 1, 10, and 12 were produced both ways. Posters 3, 18, and 19 had added hand coloring. All posters except 3 and 18 were produced for Rhode island venues. Digital Wizardry - Mr Monkey Productions.

 

New!! 21. WWOZ-FM (New Orleans) Poster - 2010 11 x 17

WWOZ Poster

 

1. JANIS JOPLIN - BIG BROTHER - 1968 8.5 x 11

Janis Joplin Poster

2. POP MUSIC FESTIVAL - 1968 8.5 x 11

3. J. GEILS - 1969 11 x 14

4. CREAM - 1969 11 x 15.5

5. THE BAND (PSYCHEDELIC VERSION) - 1970 11 x 17

 

6. THE WHO - 1968 8.5 X 8.5

The Who Poster

7. JEFFERSON AIRPLANE - 1970 11 x 17

Jefferson Airplane Poster

8. YOUNG RASCALS - 1968 11 x 17

9. RICHIE HAVENS - 1969 11 x 17

10. JANIS JOPLIN (SPRING WEEKEND) - 1969 11 x 17

Janis Joplin Poster

11. COUNTRY JOE - 1968 11 x 15

12. BEE GEES - 1968 11 x 17

13. RASCALS - 1969 11 x 17

14. THE BYRDS - 1970 11 x 17

15. HENDRIX - 1968 7.5 X 11 *NOT FOR SALE*
HISTORICAL INTEREST ONLY

16. IRON BUTTERFLY - 1970 11 x 17

17. HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS - 1969 11 x 16

18. JOHN LEE HOOKER - 1969 11 x 14.5

 

20. TURN ON -

How Psychedelic Art Got to Be Like That

From the introduction to “Fist Full of Rock and Roll” by Sal Canzonieri

Over the past forty years, I and my musical director Dr. Oldie have fallen into more than our share of truly amazing, cutting edge scenes. We grew up witnessing the inception and maturation of television and rock n roll music in the countrys biggest market. We went to Times Square Records and saw rock n roll record collecting commence.

We joined the Underground Press Syndicate and helped invent rock criticism.

We produced underground comic books. We were hired by Creem magazine and contributed to the documentation of rock history. We joined the underground radio movement. When it morphed into alternative radio, we became big-time FM stars, (in a secondary market). We made and lost a small fortune printing T-shirts. We were invited to participate in the creation of the hippest show ever to air on U.S. TV, (we declined). We got into the wacky world of computers on the ground floor. In other words, we chalked up a lot of what the kids call cool experiences.

But Ill tell ya Bunky, creating psychedelic rock posters, however briefly, was the most far-out, and in some ways, the most rewarding of all our strange journeys. When I say far-out, I mean bizarre as in The Bizarro World from the Superman comic books. Everything in that oeuvre was bassackwards. Victor Moscoso, one of the most classically trained of the rock poster artists, said in an interview that it took him six months to unlearn everything he had been taught.

In applied art, form is supposed to follow function. The psychedelic style perversely took forms that that often violated the first rule of poster art, legibility. The deal was, the reader had to really get into one of these posters, and the text would then reveal itself. Groovy! At the time, the rationale was, since the hippies were reinventing society, new forms of communication were needed to separate the more highly evolved folks from the moribund old squares.

Well, maybe. The truth of the matter is that the psychedelic style was fostered as much by the resources and technology at hand as by anything else. Back then, rock concerts were not the megabuck operations they are today, and the San Francisco ballroom dances were particularly modest affairs, with correspondingly meager advertising budgets. Radio advertising was very expensive, and AM stations were not favorably disposed to co-producing venues that featured relatively unknown acts, who had yet to have hit records.

The most viable alternative proved to be posters displayed in record stores, head shops, boutiques, and affixed to utility poles and walls in the hipper neighborhoods.

What came to be known as the psychedelic style rock poster grew out of efforts to realize the maximum potential of two very different printing processes, modern inexpensive photo-offset and the traditional craft of silk screening. Photo-offset printing does away with the expenses of setting moveable type, and engraving photographs and illustrations. A completed master poster is photographed, full size, and the photographic negative is used to create a metal plate for the printing press. As the poster size gets bigger, the cost of the negative increases exponentially. Some artists realized that if they created a poster on a sheet of clear plastic, the cost of the photographic negative could be eliminated. Of course, the poster had to be created in negative, leaving the plastic clear where the ink is supposed to appear, and applying black where it is not. This method is not as difficult as it sounds, especially if the artist gets a bit of a buzz on and wraps his head around a negative perspective. The simplest approach is to construct a type-only poster in the normal way and print it on colored paper. The resulting reproductions appear as black posters with colored letters.

Producing silk screened posters involves a similar but more flexible creative process. You start with a transparent sheet of plastic coated with a thin film of solidified lacquer. Using a swivel knife you cut around and remove film where you want the ink to go. The remaining film forms the appearance a negative image of the poster. This is then adhered, using lacquer solvent, to silk fabric stretched across a frame. Ink is then forced through the silk screen with a rubber squeegee. The advantages of the silk screen method are you can use colored ink not generally available with cheap photo-offset, and you can produce much larger posters than most offset presses can accommodate. Also, since the film coated plastic is fairly transparent, you can lay it over photographs and drawings, and cut the film without having to visualize them in the negative mode.

The process of working, to a greater or lesser degree, in the negative had a profound influence in the psychedelic graphic style. Primarily, it fostered radical new approaches to the use of color combinations, the object-ground relationship, and the creation of type fonts. Once artists got used to flipping their creative perceptions back and forth, from positive to negative and back again, they started applying their newly acquired mental agility to the entire color spectrum, instead of just dark and light. What could be accomplished with black and white, could just as easily be applied to say red and blue, with the added advantage that two colors exactly opposite each other on the color wheel would appear to vibrate when viewed by the human eye. Motion on a static print. Far out!

When poster artists started constructing lettering in the negative mode, it became apparent that it was more efficient to contemplate the space surrounding the letters than the letters themselves. The obvious technique was to draw the outline of the letters, then instead of filling them in, filling in around them. The next (r)evolutionary step was to create the surrounding space directly. This is accomplished by laying out the words using rectangles for each letter, thin ones for Is, medium ones for Os, and fat ones for Ws and so forth. Then lines are drawn into the rectangles to define the open spaces between the elements which define individual letters. Once the concept is grasped, the technique is no harder to master than learning to hand print the alphabet. The result is text with very bold letters, produced with a minimum of effort. Naturally, artists being artists, once the above techniques were mastered, they were pushed to their limits, and a unique esthetic emerged. The unusual use of type, depth, and color combinations resulted in posters that were very eye catching, if somewhat difficult to decipher at first glance.

From a personal perspective, Doc and I got a lot more out of being part of the psychedelic art movement than acquiring some new skills. We learned how to think about something we already knew in a whole new way. Today they call it thinking outside the box. Plus, we got to meet Janis Joplin, Willie Dixon, Peter Wolf, and lots of other way cool people.

--The Mad Peck

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