Although the "Batman"
poster hinted at Wes Wilson's potential for his eventual style,
this poster demonstrates clearly, and with total confidence, his
swirling letterforms which became his signature, and is the first,
seminal example of what was to come. This is a landmark piece
of work artistically, and in my mind consequently the most valuable
poster (with the exception of the first one) of the first seven.
It is also in perfect condition having been never displayed. Very
rare and extremely valuable.
20" (36cm X 51cm)
What Wes, and all us artists
by this time, were doing with our art was trying to mimic the
hallucinatory visions we were having as a result of taking LSD,
which pretty much everyone was experimenting with at the time.
Although Funky Jack had participated
in some scientifically controlled LSD experiments at the University
of California Berkeley in the early 60's, the general public had
no inkling of the drug until Ken Kesey brought some back from
Switzerland in 1965, where it was made. At this time, the drug
was legal, and was being used in psychological experiments by
scientists and doctors all over the world.
Ken had befriended Sonny Barger
and Freewheelin' Frank of the Hell's Angels, and turned them on
to the drug. They turned on their friends, and so on and so on,
creating an exponential explosion of hundreds of thousands of
people who had taken the drug in just a short six months. Everyone
who took the drug (well.most everyone!) wanted to turn their friends
onto this amazing experience, and so it went.
I came home one day in 1968
to find Sonny Barger and Freewheelin' Frank sitting in my lounge
listening to music (it was well-known that I never locked my door
and anyone was welcome)... this kind of stuff happened all the
time...it was an amazing period of history that is impossible
to imagine today. I know it sounds corny, but we really were all
one big family, or tribe. All friends, all trusting of each other,
and no one ever took advantage. Well, you don't with family, do
you? It really seemed like a new world order based on honor and
trust was possible...we were all living it, and it worked.
Funky Features regularly got
requests from little cottage businesses just starting up on a
shoestring all over the country, to send them posters on consignment.
We always did, and we ALWAYS got paid. We trusted them, and they
came through. It was like that with everyone in every business.
these spinning gizmos really
drive you nuts, don't they?