Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Psychedelic Sex (VARIA)

Category: Books,Arts & Photography,Photography & Video

Psychedelic Sex (VARIA) Details

Review “…Psychedelic Sex could be described as coffee table porn. It is also a tribute to psychedelic art, with its vivid, clashing colours and experimental graphics. With its vivid lime green and purple zig-zag cover, the book is beautifully presented. Its modern design uses bright, clashing colours that tastefully complement the era's radiant palette without being jarring.”“A hyper-vivid look back at the 1960s and early 1970s… Psychedelic Sex comments on nearly every curve and contour of American culture: money, power, sex, race, advertising, religion, technology, youth culture, freedom, and individual liberty.” Read more About the Author Paul Krassner was a founder of the Youth International Party (Yippies) in 1967 and a member of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters. He produced The Realist, a magazine of social criticism, from 1958 to 1974, leading People magazine to name him "the father of the underground press". He is the author of 15 books; his most recent being In Praise of Indecency.Dian Hanson produced a variety of men’s magazines from 1976 to 2001, including Juggs, Outlaw Biker, and Leg Show, before becoming TASCHEN’s Sexy Book Editor. Her titles include the “body part” series, The Art of Pin-up, Psychedelic Sex, and Ren Hang. Read more


This is yet another fabulously playful and esoteric Taschen work which I have been anxiously anticipating since November when they announced it, as I like the counter-culture vestiges which I fondly remember from my childhood. I am not disappointed by this at all. The lime green and purple paper sleeve greeted me with the promise of a real groovy trip, and the orgy montage on the cover invited me in. The lime green page edges and sheer heft of the book let me know I better be ready for some serious digression, and the book definitely provides that. I'm bedazzled and still coming down from an hour of flipping through the pages. As usual with Taschen, they give you a lot of content for your money and this is well worth the shelf space. I suspect this book may actually establish a new and cognizable genre of eroticism. It's a niche that heretofore has not been properly identified and articulated. Did you like Goldie Hawn doing a go-go dance on Laugh In when you were a kid? Or, Benny Hill's Gold Diggers dancing in the background as he sang a little song? Well, those specific images may not be here, but that exact vibe certainly is, and with a lot less clothing and quite a bit more hair, if you know what I mean.I was a little concerned that there would be overlap between this publication and Dian Hanson's epic six-volume Men's Magazines set which Taschen published several years ago. I love buying books, but I don't like redundancy. Well, I'm pleased to report that if there is redundancy, I didn't spot it. And the theme here is really quite tantalizing--sexy, hippie encounters from the late 60's and early 70's. The colors are glaring but festive, the women beautiful and au natural, the superimposed psychedelic designs and lighting are goofy but they do effectively cast a certain intoxicating spell. If you were a kid in the 60s you remember a lot of this vibe. I was too young to participate at the time, but now I get an ample dosage here (figuratively, of course)! There are countless magazine covers and some movie posters, but mostly this appears to be inner content from assorted men's cult magazines from the era. I think a generous San Francisco collector allowed Dian access, and she culled out the best of the best. These images are really more humorous than anything, but they do bring back memories of a more experimental and exciting time.Is there any publisher out there doing anything close to what Taschen is doing? I don't think there is anyone even close. So many people get worked up about Steve Jobs' legacy; I'm personally far more captivated by the Taschens, their innovation just keeps going year after year. Even if this book were about knitting or canning fruit, as a book collector I would still find the quality of this publication to be striking. (In the same Amazon box today I received Taschen's "World War One in Color." It is also a serious accomplishment.) I like the slide-through book sleeve on this, but I do wish it was made of heavier-grade cardboard. (I'm also really hoping that Taschen moves on from the carboard boxes for their XL series and upgrades to a high quality slip-case.) But these are minor gripes--buy this now and prepare to view some happy psychedelic debauchery. Pour yourself a martini, and spend an hour or two flipping through these pages. This crowd is not as refined as the Playboy set, but it looks like they are having even more fun. Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary and Jerry Garcia would approve!


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