It Must Be Art Book Review - A Kaleidoscope of Mind Blowing Psychedelic Posters

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It Must Be Art, from Schiffer Books and authored by Michael Fishel, brings together a collection of artists who embraced the hallucinogenic, mind altering culture of the 1960s and 1970s creating big art posters, placards and advertising.

With a forward by the late Robert Venosa who said "the role the artist means belonging to a unique, exciting gang of outlaws. It will always be the explorers, artists, poets, curious intellectuals, musicians and all the other existential samurai who are creatively courageous who desire to advance their yearnings for higher truth, and who will take the leap of faith into the unknown. The art and architecture of every great, or minor culture was given its visual power through the artist and in fact culture itself has always been defined through the artists creativity. The artist has always been the catalyst for change."


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It Must Be Art Big O Poster Artists of the 60s & 70s, the official title, narrows the mind and settles into the main focus of the specialty art book, which is gathering, sourcing and selecting the cream de la cream of a time when every artist was special and the art enlightening, paired with the socially acceptable, and experimental, accessory the art took on a life of its own with movement, being and shape.

The Big O Art is a cultural phenomenon in certain circle within the United States and revered with an almost deity status in the UK. The Posters, often vibrant and Intoxicating with rainbows of neon colors announcing all day rock concerts from little known bands as the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton and Bruce Springsteen were popping up around Kings Road, in Chelsea, UK, which has historically been, for some unknown reason, the birthplace of big, culturally changing ideas.

As the mind expanding experience became acceptable the art had to follow. The Big O Poster Artists of the 60s & 70s, gathered a virtual who's who of recognizable artists and brought the collection together featuring Martin Sharp, Roger Dean, Rodney Matthews, Terry Pastor, Heinz Edelman, Rudolf Hauser, David Vaughan, Mati Klarwein, HR Giger, Robert Venosa, Vali Myers, John Hurford, Ivan Ripley, Michael Fishel, Wayne Anderson, Jim Burns, Virgil Finlay, Nigel Suckling, and Graham Percy.

Within the books 303 pages are without question the greatest single compilation of Modern Art from the 1960s and 1970s. Printed work that become the genesis for the film Aliens, the presentation of the female body as one with Mother Nature or Earth, surrounded by the eco system of life and vegetation, other worlds, the fusing of concepts, once consider a taboo the modern artist brought life to both and created a colorful, eye popping neon which drew an entirely new generation of art enthusiasts.


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And of course, as is referenced and mentioned several times throughout the tomb, artist were often working on these wide screen and intricate displays while taking on the conservative, although culturally reflective pieces to pay the rent.

Commerical brand work, drawing the covers for the new wave of artist who were flooding the world with the rock and roll sound extended the imagination to the album cover and often produce stunning one of a kind pieces that became the album cover art.

It Must Be Art Big O Poster Artists of the 60s & 70s became so culturally acceptable artists associated with the movement, and especially founder Peter Ledeboar, a half a century later the work is still globally known and celebrated.

The poster of Che Guevara, first drawn by the Big O artists, The1972 Munich Olympics poster, the most explosive, colorful and capturing drawn image of Jimi Henrix that has ever been seen or produced anywhere. Without words the art, alone, presents the wild mastery of the artist.

It Must Be Art Big O Poster Artists of the 60s & 70s also includes an introduction on each of the artists along with selections of their works. The introductions to these modern masters are as significant as the art as we find most were driven by a desire to achieve freedom. The hope of creating work that would last throughout history, become a curated artistic period of time, showcased, and even thought to have greater more significant value in the realm of Modern Art was not the driving force.


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It Must Be Art Big O Poster Artists of the 60s & 70s brings to the pages a trip back in time through the world of culturally changing art, exploding free love, mind altering experiences, the hippie generation, and the influencers including rockers, many of which survived the time and some, a homage to those who did not.

The cover of the oversized specialty book, immediately gives a clue to the contents. The bloated lettering, a kaleidoscopic of neons, rainbows, stars, multi-colored hillsides with a back cover that matches and heralds a message sending the mind back to when music was as influential as electronics.


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It Must Be Art Big O Poster Artists of the 60s & 70s is a fabulous trip back in time, filled with completed works, iconic works, renderings, commercial work that became socially acceptable and a symbol of the Mod generation. Available in fine book stores, online and through Schiffer Books.