I grew up in the 1960’s and remember quite well the psychedelic posters of Peter Blake and Victor Moscoso and Wes Wilson and Peter Max and others. I haven’t stayed interested in the psychedelic pop at scene over the past fifty years, but when I saw the style of art that Oliver Hibert was doing, it certainly caught my eye and reminded me of my visits to my brother’s dorm or early apartments.
There are some similarities, of course. The use of solid colors, bright and bold, definitely feel like a throw-back to the 60’s/70’s psychedelic era. Hibert has his own style, of course, and there are a couple of themes that run through his art constantly. Hibert appears to be obsessed with the human eye, and with the vagina. It is a rare piece of art that doesn’t feature one or the other – or both – in it.
These images were repeated so many times, in so many ways, that it grew monotonous and when a piece of art was featured that didn’t contain a colorful eyeball or strange vagina (often with teeth), it would catch my attention for being different. I loved the painted guitar, and the use of flowers to create a skull (“Scream The Last Scream”) for instance.
I am not surprised, and not impressed by the idea that his work is featured on acid tab sheets, leading to the belief that the only way to truly enjoy this art is to be on an acid trip. And what, I wonder, would a psychologist make of all the headless female bodies in this work?
This is the kind of art that I can take only in small doses. Seeing something here or there, with the bright, loud colors, would make me stop and look, and maybe enjoy. But a book of this art is a lot to take in for the casual art fan. Only those already into Hibert’s art are likely to find this book of serious interest.
There is a small of biographical information about Hibert within the pages, but it is pretty slight – keeping the mystery of the man behind the art a curiosity. But perhaps the most telling thing about Hibert and his art was his admission that he was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and that “Everybody was scary and evil to us, so we stayed home, making art and playing video games. That’s helped mold me in a lot of ways, maybe most importantly growing up with everything being taboo, whether it’s music, art, nudity, all that stuff.”
Looking for a good book? Eye See You: The Art of Oliver Hibert by Angelo Madrigale is is a look at the art of a modern pop artist whose style is a throwback to the psychedelic 60’s with an unusual propensity for giant eyeballs.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelwiess, in exchange for an honest review.
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Eye See You: The Art of Oliver Hibert
author: Angelo Madrigale
publisher: Schiffer Publishing
hardcover, 176 pages