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Neon Rose #13

  • Object:

    Poster

  • Place of origin:

    San Francisco (made)

  • Date:

    1967 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Moscoso, Victor, born 1936 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour offset lithograph

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of the American Friends of the V&A; Gift to the American Friends by Leslie, Judith and Gabri Schreyer and Alice Schreyer Batko

  • Museum number:

    E.433-2004

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 514, case TOPIC, shelf 11

The Neon Rose series was produced by Moscoso for the Matrix, a venue co-owned by Paul Kantner and Marty Balin, of the band Jefferson Airplane, and San Francisco’s first folk night club. Moscoso attended the San Francisco Art Institute, and after graduation he remained to take up a post teaching lithography. It is therefore not surprising that Moscoso, more than any of his peers, exploited and developed modern lithographic practices, and explored complex colour theory, using techniques such as overprinting to build up his final image. In this poster, the portrait of George Washington is obvious, and it is only after greater scrutiny that a superimposed image of a skull reveals itself. Appearing initially as a pink highlighted area on the face, after closer inspection, perhaps under the flashing lights at a concert, the double-image becomes more obvious, and then oscillates between the ghostly skull and the face of the late President.

This idea of a message or meaning that is revealed only after closer scrutiny, introduces the idea of a ‘slow poster’, an approach that reached its zenith with the work of Wilson and Moscoso. Many psychedelic posters require time to decipher the words or to see and explore hidden parts of the image, a process that is quite at odds with the notion of what makes a good advertising poster. Because these posters were not concerned with the normal channels of business or commercial advertising, the artists had the opportunity to explore a new visual idiom. Their style fitted with the attitudes and ideas of their audience. The consumers of these posters can be regarded as part of a club, a group of people who could relate to the designs and were happy to spend more time exploring the significance of the design.

Physical description

Psychedelic poster Neon Rose #13, 'The Stockville Light Express Present Death and Transfiguration', featuring an image of George Washington. The lettering announcing the event is highly stylised, and coloured pink on a blue background, reading (across the upper edge of the poster), 'The Stockville Light Express Present', and around an oval which fills the rest of the space and contains an image of George Washington, 'Death and Transfiguration : an Audio-Chromatic Environment: Apr-149 Fri-15 Sat: 9-1pm : The Plastic Explosion : The Plague : At Webbs Stockton : 175'. The central image shows a skull superimposed onto a picture of George Washington. The image of Washington is coloured green and red, and is photographic, but very grainy and made up of enlarged lithographic dots, as though taken from a newspaper print. The skull is less obvious, at first appearing as a pink highlighted area on the face, but when viewed with a colour wheel, the image is more clearly seen, and oscillates between the appearance of the President and the ghostly skull.

Place of Origin

San Francisco (made)

Date

1967 (made)

Artist/maker

Moscoso, Victor, born 1936 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Colour offset lithograph

Marks and inscriptions

'THE STOCKVILLE LIGHT EXPRESS PRESENT / DEATH AND TRANSFIGURATION : AN AUDIO-CHROMATIC ENVIRONMENT: / APR-149 FRI-15 SAT: 9-1PM : THE PLASTIC EXPLOSION : THE PLAGUE : AT WEBBS STOCKTON : 175'
Above, and around the sides of the oval containing the image, amorphous lettering, pink on blue

TICKET PRE-SALE: 2346 N. CALIFORNIA ST., STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA. PHONE: 465-8833. MEMBERS ONLY, PLEASE'
Ticket vendors' information, below the main image, blue typeface

'© 1967 NEON ROSE #13'
Series number, lower left corner of poster

'Moscoso'
Printed, as if signed, artist's name, lower right corner

Dimensions

Height: 50.8 cm, Width: 35.5 cm

Descriptive line

Psychedelic poster, Neon Rose #13, 'The Stockville Light Express Present Death and Transfiguration', featuring an image of George Washington by Victor Moscoso, United States, 1967

Materials

Paper; Inks

Techniques

Offset lithography

Subjects depicted

Death; Men; Skulls; Cravats; Portraits; Psychedelic; Music; Presidents

Categories

Prints; Entertainment & Leisure; Posters

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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