Ripped Van Winkle - 1988

1988 poster for a play by the San Francisco Mime Troupe called Ripped Van Winkle by Victor Moscoso

Victor Moscoso


Ripped Van Winkle, 1988


First printing, lithograph, Condition: mint


Framed: 21 15/16" tall x 16" wide





Close-up of frame at angle

Close-up of frame

Close-up of frame


This poster was for a production of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, a well-known radical performing arts group dating from the mid 1960s.  Promoter and Impresario Bill Graham actually got his start producing “dance concerts” in late 1965 by producing benefits for the Mime Troupe, which he was managing.  By March of 1966 Graham realized there was a lot more opportunity with the burgeoning rock and roll scene.



This play, with the brilliant title, Ripped Van Winkle encompassed sixteen performances in various Bay Area city parks starting July 23 and ending September 5, 1988.



“It's 1968, and anti-war activist, free-loving Rip is in San Francisco, grooving at Summer Solstice in Golden Gate Park. He takes a hit of acid from a "beautiful stranger" . . . . and wakes up 20 years later. [Doh! – Ed.] Follow the adventures of our furry, freaked-out hero as he finds out where his friends are... what happened to the revolution... who was the mystery lady and what mission she has planned for him in the cold, new world of 1988.”



Part of Moscoso’s distinctive style was to use vibrant clashing colors to create a hallucinogenic effect. We see these colors turned up to outrageous degrees here along with pure 60's lettering. Moscoso had studied art at Yale University with Joseph Albers who was renowned for his work on the logic and magic of color.  "Every perception of color is an illusion.. ..we do not see colors as they really are. In our perception they alter one another,” Albers, 1949. This piece is part of the Oakland Museum’s Permanent Collection.


Back To Top