Section One

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Junior Wells,
Victor Moscoso, 1966
Color photolithographic poster

The psychedelic posters emanating out of San Francisco in the mid-1960s became the visual symbol of the counterculture for youth across the country. Rock impresario Bill Graham capitalized on these new styles for events he organized for San Francisco’s Fillmore West Auditorium.

Victor Moscoso produced this Fillmore poster advertising popular blues performer Junior Wells in 1966. One of the few poster designers with academic art training—he had studied at the Cooper Union, Yale, and the San Francisco Art Institute—Moscoso generally found his art school background of little help in experimenting with poster styles. But some of his pioneering effects he credited in part to his color studies with Josef Albers at Yale. “Hot” colors in wild combinations, Moscoso realized, could “load up the surface” of his poster, creating an intensity that made the image vibrate optically.