Book review of High Art

High Art: A History of the Psychedelic Poster (Paperback) by Ted Owen and Denise Dickson June, 1999 is about art created starting in the 1960s but I'm writing about it now. So here we are and here it is: my book review for

For me, this is a picture book, starting with the front and back covers in the stark bright primary colors of red, green, gold, orange, and magenta in wriggling shapes that resolve into an eye. Finally I see the center is the book title.

That's how it was in 1966, when I saw a poster tacked to a San Francisco telephone pole. Wow, look at the colors! Being of the same value, they blink, optically dancing. These effects had been avoided in previous art as "clashing" or "distracting". True, sometimes the who, what, when, where information was hard to find and read. We took the posters down and lived surrounded with them on our walls. Just as fast, the posters reappeared. They seemed to be as free as our spirits were then. Mine are gone, lost or stolen. But the art entered my psyche permanently.

I got the book in 1999 having been lured into the Virgin Megastore by smoke rings floating out over Union Square into New York City. Some people didn't like the rings even though nicotine use was not required for the high. If you are like that, you probably won't like this book.

The book is a lasting trip based on creative, unique, beautiful art posters. These posters' history is like that of Japanese woodcuts. The mention of Dylan in another review sent me to the index which listed three pages, not including the full page poster. There is no list of illustrations. This book is best for browsing.

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