The 1960s gave us free love, communes, and the neon images indelibly etched in our minds that define the psychedelic era. But if you want to learn how they evolved at the hands of one man, don’t miss the current exhibit at the World Erotic Art Museum.
The exhibit, entitled “A Gada de Vida,” is an impressive display of the work of Paul Kagan, a brilliant photographer and innovator who not only captured the era of the 1960s in bright psychedelic hues, but also invented the techniques that made his creations possible.
Larry Marion, the owner of the “Don’t Fade Away” gallery that represents Kagan’s work, spoke to Examiner about what made the photographer such an iconic figure.
“Paul Kagan not only documented the era, but he did it all. He brought together the fields of art, photography and design to create his unforgettable images, not of the music scene, but also the Civil Rights era,” said Marion. Marion, who runs the “Not Fade Away” gallery, is a world recognized figure in rock and music memorability.
Kagan took the photographic tools of the day much further than ever before, and used them to create neon-bright, luminescent images that are instantly recognizable to anyone who lived through, or has studied, the decade, he noted.
Some of the images are erotic, and some not. In terms of the erotic, Kagan’s most memorable images depict the ‘Yab Yum,’ which is the common symbol depicted in Tibetan art that depicts the male deity sitting in sexual union with his female consort. Kagan’s use of the “Yab Yum” was instrumental in WEAM owner Naomi Wilzig’s decision to feature the photographer, because such themes are seen throughout her museum.
According to Marion, Kagan also single handedly created the concert posters that created an art form still recognizable today, as anyone who recalls the famous Fillmore and other posters will readily agree.
The exhibit also includes many of his unpublished works, including erotic phonographs, photos of the Monterey Pop Festival, the Human Be-In of 1967, and the People’s Park protests of 1969.
“We are very excited about this exhibit because this is the first sole exhibit of Paul Kagan’s work in South Florida, said Helmet Schuster, WEAM’s art director. Kagan’s work has also been exhibited throughout the United States, as well as in Germany, England and France.
The WEAM exhibit will be on display until the end of November.
More info: World Erotic Art Museum