This gorgeous silkscreen poster was designed by Rick Griffin in 1967 and printed by Royal Screen Craft in Los Angeles in 1968. It is featured in "The Art Of Rock", plate 2.359. Its central character is "San Mescalito, The Patron And Protector Of All Those Souls Who Dig Herbs Created By God To Enlighten The Minds Of Men".
On a journey up into the Sierra Madre mountains, Rick Griffin and his wife, Ida, encountered the Huichol Indians, a shamanistic tribe renowned for art based on peyote-induced visions. The Huichol and their sacred art fascinated Griffin, and soon after, Mescaleros began popping up as recurring motifs in his works. This poster was printed three times by Griffin and there is another unauthorized black light edition in circulation as well.
Royal Screen Craft Inc. was a Los Angeles-based silkscreen printer that exploded during the poster craze which lasted about a decade, from 1965-1975. They printed what are know today as “headshop posters,” which were marketed to teenagers who craved expressions and had often won the battle for the walls of their rooms in their household. Posters were an early form of “affordable art,” and the works were treated as such, put up with thumbtacks and tape and moved around and got pretty beat up and in most cases thrown away. Finding headshop posters like these in good condition is increasingly difficult. Topics for the posters included psychedelic art, hip sayings, and Hollywood movie stars like Steve McQueen, James Dean or Raquel Welch.
Headshops and well-known poster shops included the Postermat in San Francisco the Mole Hole in Chicago, the Infinite Poster and the Intergalactic Trading Post and Underground Uplift Unlimited in New York, the Kazoo in Los Angeles, George’s Folly and Truc in Boston, Head Shop South in Coconut Grove, Florida, the Emporium in Miami Beach, to shops in college towns and semi-college towns all over the Midwest. And of course, the iconic Spencer Gifts, which opened its first retail store in 1963 and was operating 450 when they sold to MCA in 1967.