The Daily Heller: Victor Moscoso’s Psychedelic Big Bang in A Coruña

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Moscoso Cosmos: The Visual Universe of Victor Moscoso is a museum exhibition (see new photos below) that returns the king of American psychedelic posters and underground comics to Vilaboa, a small town in Spain where he was born in 1936. A large selection of work by Moscoso—one of the most original and influential graphic designers of the latter 20th century—has been assembled for this mind-tripping show; it is his biggest retrospective exhibition so far.

The show includes the renowned series of psychedelic rock posters that he created, incredibly, over eight months in 1966 and 1967, and 14 issues of the iconic Zap Comix, published over the course of 40 years and feature artists including R. Crumb and Rick Griffin. Moscoso Cosmos also presents a selection of album covers, illustrations for books and magazines, animations and biographical photographs. Pandemic be damned!

Milton Glaser, who also branded the ’60s era, once said , “no one else worked with more originality or wit within the genre.”

However, Moscoso has lived his 84 years as an iconoclast, oblivious to art galleries and agencies; he calls himself a commercial artist, but anyone who knows him agrees it is hard to imagine a commercial creator who acts more freely. Inside a small studio in San Geronimo Valley (West Marin, CA) Moscoso is still drawing, collaging and painting.

Moscoso Cosmos, delayed owing to the pandemic, is open now through Oct. 10 at the Fundación Luis Seoane, A Coruña (organized by Fundación Luis Seoane, A Coruña; MUSAC—Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León; and Centro Niemeyer, Avilés; with the collaboration of AC/E—Acción Cultural Española). The show's curator David Carballal wrote a biographical feature in the forthcoming trilingual (Galician, English and Spanish) catalog, which also includes an essay by me.

Moscoso designed an original poster for the exhibition (above). Using his signature trope of overlapping color images—a technique developed during his psychedelic period—causes the image to move when exposed to flashing red and blue lights. After Fundación Luis Seoane, Moscoso Cosmos: The Visual Universe of Victor Moscoso will travel to the Oscar Niemeyer–designed Centro Niemeyer in Avilés, and MUSAC in León. I hope that it just may trip over to the U.S. someday.