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Aquarius Poster

Poster by Primo Angeli for , with Primo Angeli Design , . When asked to design a poster for the musical production Hair, scheduled to play in San Francisco, I was delighted but had understood the musical already had a completed visual program. This poster, however, was to be a commemoration of the San Francisco performance. I invited my friend, photographer Lars Speyer, into the assignment. We were in the habit of luring each other into various projects, as long as the job was exciting, with little chance of immediate profit. We did many of these. No financial officer in sight. No hangups. High visibility. Later for the fortune. Endless play. (This was thirty-five years ago.) My layout called for a wall of young adult humanity, a mass of colorful, turned-on people photographically jammed together, totally free. An assistant and one of the models corralled a number of people standing around waiting to audition for the Hair production. We set up the shoot in the back-alley basement atrium of the Geary Theater. There was enough golden late afternoon light to photograph twelve unclad flowing figures. A few days later, when the color chromes of this dancing motion arrived, I discarded my original layout and rethought the design to fit this extraordinary picture, then framed it with the beautiful lyrics written by Gerome Ragni and James Rado­. This celebratory piece was a personal interpretation of the song “Aquarius,” rather than an attempt at expressing the entire musical. It was an essential artistic statement, an inspired portrayal of an unforgettable time and place, a paradigm of the hip sixties.

project type: Poster

Agency: Primo Angeli Design

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Updated 3 months ago
Project Description

When asked to design a poster for the musical production Hair, scheduled to play in San Francisco, I was delighted but had understood the musical already had a completed visual program. This poster, however, was to be a commemoration of the San Francisco performance. I invited my friend, photographer Lars Speyer, into the assignment. We were in the habit of luring each other into various projects, as long as the job was exciting, with little chance of immediate profit. We did many of these. No financial officer in sight. No hangups. High visibility. Later for the fortune. Endless play. (This was thirty-five years ago.) My layout called for a wall of young adult humanity, a mass of colorful, turned-on people photographically jammed together, totally free. An assistant and one of the models corralled a number of people standing around waiting to audition for the Hair production. We set up the shoot in the back-alley basement atrium of the Geary Theater. There was enough golden late afternoon light to photograph twelve unclad flowing figures. A few days later, when the color chromes of this dancing motion arrived, I discarded my original layout and rethought the design to fit this extraordinary picture, then framed it with the beautiful lyrics written by Gerome Ragni and James Rado­. This celebratory piece was a personal interpretation of the song “Aquarius,” rather than an attempt at expressing the entire musical. It was an essential artistic statement, an inspired portrayal of an unforgettable time and place, a paradigm of the hip sixties.

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