Wes Wilson was a pioneer of 1960s concert posters. His art embodied the psychedelic rock scene by translating the music into images and script that flowed across the posters. With vivid detail, sensuality, and his concept of composition, Wilson’s art ranks among the most coveted concert posters.
He used an exaggerated lettering style inspired by Viennese Secessionist artist Alfred Roller, which led to a wave of creativity that completely changed how posters were lettered. The lettering became its own artistic representation. He also experimented with creating highly detailed patterns and filling the foreground and background. Adding to the visual stimulation was the way he mixed colors, producing dramatic contrasts and memorable imagery.
Wilson inspired the psychedelic poster trend. When creating a poster, he utilized all of the space with fluid form letters that often establishing their own shapes, which became the norm used by other psychedelic artists.
Some of his most well regarded posters made for Bill Graham and the Fillmore Auditorium included BG-18 for Association/Quicksilver Messenger Service, BG-29 (known as The Sound), BG-41 for The Grateful Dead, BG-45 featuring The Grateful Dead, The Doors, and Junior Wells, and the BG-51 poster.
To learn more about Wes Wilson and other concert poster artists, order a copy of The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Concert Posters from gemstonepub.com.