Wednesday, June 4, 2008

WORKINGMAN DEAD: ALTON KELLEY

Alton Kelley passed away Sunday

Psychedelic poster artist Alton Kelley died Sunday at the age of 67. Kelley, who teamed up with longtime collaborator Stanley Mouse (pictured below, Kelley on the left) created some of the greatest psychedelic posters of the Summer of Love, Haight-Asbury hippie scene, including iconic work for the Avalon Ballroom, the Family Dog, Winterland, the Fillmore, and various Bay Area bands like the Airplane and the Grateful Dead. They designed the covers of Dead albums "American Beauty" and "Workingman's Dead."

Kelley and Mouse helped create the acid-infused look of san francisco in the 1960s

"Stanley and I had no idea what we were doing," Kelley told The SF Chronicle last year. "But we went ahead and looked at American Indian stuff, Chinese stuff, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modern, Bauhaus, whatever. We were stunned by what we found and what we were able to do. We had free rein to just go graphically crazy. Where before that, all advertising was pretty much just typeset with a photograph of something."

2 comments:

expatbrian said...

Great catch on this story, Bob. I love the old posters and did a post on them ages ago. Many are now collectors items of course.

Anonymous said...

Those guys did some great psychedelic posters -- makes me want to dig out the ol' black light!