Psychedelic paintings come to us in many different styles. From minimalisticdesigns with contrasting colors to incredibly detailed fractal geometries, painstakingly represented in oil.
Over the years, I have gathered a large collection of my favorite psychedelic paintings from which I use to derive inspiration. I thought I'd share a few of them with you today. I've tried to present a broad enough range of styles here, but hopefully you'll agree they all share that inherent psychedelic vibe.
1. The Hallucinogenic Toreador - Salvador Dali
The first time I saw this striking psychedelic image was as a poster on a friend'sliving room wall. While much of Dali's art is considered to be masterpieces of surrealism, rather than psychedelic, there is no doubting this paintings hallucinatory imagery.
Housed in Madrid's Museo del Prado since 1939, Bosch's painting from the early 16th century, 500 years ago, easily stands as his best and most celebrated painting. The three piece painting ( commonly referred to as a triptych ) is intended to be read from left to right. It shows God presenting Earth to Adam and Eve in the left section, the middle section displays an indulgent life while the right side reflects society's fall into damnation and chaos. The middle section divides art historians, scholars and critics alike with a wide range of possible interpretations presented over the years.
The above image is a very small detail section of the original which is, sadly, too large for me to post here. Do a search on Google images by clicking here to see the full image.
Hieronymus Bosch Org
Peter Max homeage
In the late 60s with the youth culture expressing itself in a variety of colorful ways, Australian artist Martin Sharp produced the definitive Hendrix artwork. The original painting was produced for Big O company in London to be sold as posters. He created it from a photograph of Hendrix playing at a live gig in Central Park, New York the previous year. One interesting point about the original version of the image is that it erroneously depicted Hendrix as a right-handed guitarist, when in fact he was left handed ! Sharp actually redid the image with correct handling of the guitar, fewer splashes of color and a change of clothing color too. He was never really happy with the reworking, even though it went on to sell bucket-loads of posters. If you compare the original and the reworking you can definitely see the difference. I am in agreement with the artist here - the original ( presented above ) is the best. Before his death the artist redid the painting a final time. This time with the original colors, patterns and correct guitar positioning. It too is a joy to behold but I still love the Pollock like beauty of the original, captured at such a culturally significant time in history.
6. Neon Rose 12 ( Chambers Bros at The Matrix ) - Victor Moscoso
For this list, I've gone with his most iconic image - Neon Rose #12, a poster created in 1967 to promote American soul band The Chambers Brothers. The image is so epic in trippy simplicity and design and perfectly defines that 60s psychedelic counter culture style. It has been used in countless magazines, catalogs and museum promotional materials over the years.
Victor Moscoso homepage
It's fair to say that after fathering 17 children, visionary artist Ernst Fuchs knew a thing or two about the human condition. A lifetime of joy and sorrow is encapsulated in his artwork. This is no more evident than in his massive magnum opus The Apocalypse Chapel.
Again, you will need to research this one online some more to get a better view of the entire image.
His paintings, like this one, are always vast in scope and vibrate with intense colors. In this painting, Pablo describes an otherworld of crystalline temples, shimmering cities, serpent like entities and portals to other dimensions of time and space.
Paul Laffoley is an interesting chap. His art is an expression of various styles and theories combined into an eclectic visionary tale of the cosmos. He is educated in fine arts and architecture and you can see elements of both in his art.
He also says that ideas in his artwork might be the result of a metallic implant found in his brain during a routine CAT scan ! He has no recollection of how the implant got there, much like Dana Scully from the X-Files, and suggests it could be of alien origin and his driving his thought processes !
Paul Laffoley homepage
10. I've Been There - Jonathan Solter
American artist Jonathan Solter burst onto the scene with a series of epic psychedelic paintings that depicted visions of the psychedelic experience. I was instantly attracted to his work as it very accurately reflected themes that I had personally experienced during such events.
For me, three dimensional fly-by landscapes of sharply cut geometric structures thatpulse with energy and light are common motif while navigating a psychedelicexperience. As a young artist, Johnathan has already attracted much attention and many followers online. Let's hope he can continue to share his visionary insights long into the future.
Johnathan Solter homepage