Artist Statement: "There were a number of forces that brought about the Summer of Love, the pinnacle of the counterculture movement in San Francisco. Ever since breaking open and reading Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-aid Acid Test when I first moved to SF nearly twenty years ago, what especially grabbed and sustained my attention was the genius and wild antics of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, particularly the Acid Tests (arguably the "Doorway" of the counterculture movement itself, and the subsequent birth of the Grateful Dead).
The "Acid Tests" were a collection of wild parties put on by Kesey and the Pranksters all around the Bay Area (and one in Oregon) from '65 – late '66 that focused entirely on, and advocated for, the use of LSD-25 (acid). With the tag line "Can you pass the acid test?" the events were a fusion of video projections, strobe lights, fluorescent paint, performance, and music. A young band by the name of the Warlocks dabbled with some instruments at the first event, and after changing their name to The Grateful Dead, became a staple for the rest of the events, playing a huge role in San Francisco’s contribution to the psychedelic rock of the era.
In designing my painting, I referenced materials and visuals used in the flyers of the Acid Tests, Acid Test Graduation, and the Trips Festival in SF just before the notorious summer of '67. I picture it as a still life of something you'd find in a ossuary (much like the bone room at the Hallstatt Ossuary - https://goo.gl/jiCB9b). As for the title, "See you on the other side (50 years further along)," many thought of acid as a doorway that, once opened, enabled the user to attain a different or higher level of understanding of life and existence. Others thought it was a green light to completely let go of their inhibitions and partake in all that could be found on the wild side. Either way, one would need to travel to the "other side." "50 years further along" references the magical bus used by Kesey and the Pranksters in their crazy adventures back and forth across the country."
Collections: Flower Child: Group Exhibition
Artist: Chris Sheridan,
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