Posters Victor Moscoso

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Victor Moscoso, The Chambers Brothers, Neon Rose series #12, 3-colour photolithograph poster, 1967.

Stare into the electric blue shades of this woman’s sunglasses and what do you see?  Even if you know what you are looking for, the blue letterforms come together to form coherent words only with sustained visual focus.  If you were to advertise a concert that you wanted people to come to, would you make it this difficult for your audience to find out about it?  Or could it be that the designer had something else in mind.

Break on Through  “That was the first Doors poster by Moscoso.  In fact, it was the first poster for The Doors from San Francisco, because they were an LA band.  “Break on Through” was the first single off of their first album and it got airplay, in other words radio play, and so nobody knew who the Doors were in San Francisco.  They said, “hey, put this, ‘Break on Through to the Other Side’ somewhere in the poster so that people will know who The Doors are.  See, nobody knew who the Doors were.  Moscoso just went ahead and did what he felt like doing, and so he put a snowflake in the third eye position on the lady, overprinting, and then he put the, “Break on Through to the Other Side” where he felt like. That’s the thing about these things, he didn’t have to show a sketch to anybody.  He did not have to get approval on this. When he finished the poster he went directly to the printer.  Because they were being done so quickly and also, by then, the posters were selling very fast.”

For the Avalon Ballroom poster, Moscoso applied his signature lettering to the yin yang, the Chinese symbol for interdependence of contrary forces. There are up to ten known variations in color for this particular print.

Victor Moscoso Nieman Marcus Neon Rose #B2 Poster
One of Moscoso’s finest images, this poster was done for a 1967 poster show at the prestigious Neiman Marcus Department Store. When viewed under a black light, the lower ball of text appears to rise up from the horizon.
An extremely stylised abstract design of circle and line suggests cosmic forms. The billowing leaf-like shapes in the foreground give a disquieting sense of organic life.

March 22-23, 1967 at the Avalon Ballroom featuring Quicksilver Messenger Service, John Lee Hooker and the Miller Blues Band

“Based on the astrological reading on the date of the dance, this was going to happen during the retrograde of mercury. The picture of the band was taken at the De Young Museum in front a of a small Chinese sculpture of a rhino. Moscoso had to deal with a horizontal photo of the band and a vertical layout for the poster. He gave Moscoso the title ‘from the plains of Quicksilver’. Using the title, he thought of Mercury, so he made his letters into a planet and this letter form appears in a positive, negative, positive, negative. In other words when you read down, the lettering alternates. Because it is a circle,
the photograph fit in perfectly, with no top or bottom.”

Victor Moscoso poster done for the 25th anniversary of Starbucks.
Poster measures 22 x 25.5 and features the Starbucks lady standing above a coffee cup with the words, “The Starbucks Experience, 25 Years of Good Brew” on a banner, and “Seattle Washington” on the cup and saucer.’96 VICTOR MOSCOSO.


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