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Not much is known about this specific Beatles poster reflecting the band after they had become psychedelicized. The artist, Rik Vig, did do a handful of other blacklight silkscreen posters and certainly this is a beauty. The Purple Realm was likely the screen-printing company – the equipment was large and expensive. These companies existed to serve the exploding market for posters by the young baby boomers as highlighted in a cover story in Life Magazine September 1, 1967 called, “The Big Poster Hang-up – Walls and Walls of Expendable Art.”
Day-Glo and glow-in-the-dark paint were fairly new when they were adopted by manufacturers of blacklight posters. Fluorescent paint was in use by the military dating back to the 1930s when it was created by the Switzer brothers. In the 1950s the Day-Glo Color Corp. took the ink into the mass market.
The relative newness of the product made it perfect for artistic experiments. It was something that artists wanted to use to change the meaning of their work, while giving it a new look as it softly pulsed in the dark. It took a decade after its introduction to catch on, but when people came around to it, they took to the paint in a big way.
When you looked at a Blacklight poster under blacklight it changed and dare I say your parents didn’t understand the appeal? Blacklight posters reflected the hippie aesthetic and were symbolic of looking at the world “thru the looking glass,” or seeing the world in a different way, as happens with LSD or other mind-altering substances.