This classic Martin Sharp is from his stunning psychedelic design for Donovan in 1967. The picture is printed onto a silver metallic heavy base. This poster remains in mint condition.
Martin Sharp created Sunshine Superman, a psychedelic art piece, in 1967 using black and blue ink on silver foil on thick white card, double crown. It features a picture of Donovan, the English folk Singer. The poster was published by Big O Posters in London. The poster was a companion piece that accompanied Sharp’s other poster, Blowing in the Mind – Bob Dylan. The two psychedelic art pieces are in keeping with the psychedelic time period in which it was created.
On the background of the psychedelic poster you can see the words SunshineSuperman across the top in a pop style lettering with the words SunshineSuperman in a noodle-like lettering superimposed. Images of ballerinas, a flute player, and other performance artists are scattered around the background causing it to take on a rather Monty Python-esque feel. Various text fragments are sprinkled throughout the background. The attention grabber is the blue hued picture of Donovan himself in the center. The head and throat of a young, long-haired Donovan is shown with the lyrics of the song lettered on the left, “The Magicianhe sparkles in satin and velvet. You gaze at his splendour with eyes you’ve not used, I tell you his name is love, love.”
Donovan wrote the song Sunshine Superman in response to a painful event in his life, the 1965 breakup of his relationship with girlfriend Linda Lawrence. He ran into her again a few years later and in 1970 they married. In an interview with The Guardian newspaper on May 24, 2005, Donovan says “Linda’s in all the songs. ‘Sunshine Superman,’ ‘Hampstead Incident,’ ‘Young Girl Blues’… Linda’s the muse.” Sunshine Superman was the only one of Donovan’s songs to hit number one on the Billboard Charts.
The song’s psychedelic subject matter was not immediately evident, but listeners of the day could easily pick up on certain lines in the lyrics such as”Could’ve tripped out easy, but I’ve changed my ways”, a reference to LSD. The entire packaging of the song, artwork, and marketing tools were influenced by the free love, drug-laden 1960’s counterculture.
Martin Sharp knew many artists and musicians in the 1960s, and he seems to have felt a kinship of sorts with Donovan Leitch, the English folk singer, that apparently inspired him to create the psychedelic rock artwork and subsequent poster. On the Martin Sharp Limited Edition Posters website it states, “In dedicating this artwork to him he captures the essence of Donovans’ (sic) music and angelic view of the world.”
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