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Joe Gomez
A poster artist during San Francisco’s psychedelic Sixties, Joe Gomez is remembered for a few notable posters that are highly sought after by collectors. Gomez designed only one poster for concerts at the Avalon Ballroom, organized by Chet Helms (1942-2005) of the Family Dog, the notable “Optical Occlusion” (FD-93), advertising the November 23-25, 1967 concert by Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin (1943-1970) and the band Mt. Rushmore. The poster features alternating strips of red and blue arranged in a circular design that seem to recede in a tunnel design. Earlier in 1967 Gomez designed the poster for the Muhammad Ali Festival at Hunter’s Point in San Francisco on June 10-11, 1967 (See Grushkin, “Art of Rock,” no. 2.245, p. 206). Gomez designed several other posters during 1967, including “Haight Ashbury Loves You,” with the lettering formed by distorted human bodies, “Love Haight Ashbury” depicting people dancing on the famous street sign at the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets, and “Gun in a Birdcage,” with a pistol in a birdcage, skeletons and skulls and a broken peace sign. At the request of Haight Street shop owner Martin Jacobs in 1968, Gomez drew a jumbled depiction of Haight Street shops and buildings from the surrounding neighborhood. Jacobs added photos of flowers and turned the drawing into a poster entitled “Haight Ashbury.” (TNB 4/2017)