Issue #5 - 1988

Anyone who was lucky enough to have stumbled into the Psychedelic Solution Gallery on West 8th St. recently was greeted with an amusing and perhaps perplexing sight. Upon the walls, elegantly framed and displayed for all the world to visually digest were sheets and tabs of what is known in common parlance as "blotter acid." All around the room were hung tiny, sometimes familiar pictures of everything from flying saucers, Mickey Mouse, loons on a lake, and sphynxes, to abstract symbols and geometric op-art patterns. "Hey, how did these drugs get up here on these walls?" one might have asked (as many did). Well, the story goes like this... far way in mythic San Francisco (designated by local police last summer as "the center of LSD production in the world") lives acid archivist Mark McCloud. Mark has been a resident of the city of St. Francis since the mid-'60's, and early on became enamored of that city's most famous local product, to a large degree due to the multitude of eye-catching logos used by the manufacturers of blotter LSD to label, differentiate and decorate their particular brands. He saw these miniature printed images as "examples of true American folk art, like whittling," and decided to collect and frame them, thus insuring their salvation from the ravages of time and hungry mouths. "Neutralizing" them chemically insured that the local men in blue could only take an aesthetic interest in them, and little by little the walls of McCloud's pad became crammed with these tiny flakes of history. Last year he let the rest of the world in on his obsession by mounting a show of them at the San Francisco Art Institute under the title The Holy Transfer Of The Rebel Replevin. The legendary party at the opening of that show shed an appropriately distorted light on the hundreds of framed icons running along the walls of the large gallery space, as well as on local bands like Tragic Mullato and exSan Franciscans Saqqara Dogs, as they gave the revellers something to aurally contemplate while the hours, shall we say passed.

Lest the East Coast be deprived of this valuable cultural cache, McCloud contacted Jacaeber Kastor, proprietor of the Psychedelic Solution Gallery, known for his commitment to visual equivalents of mindmanifestation, and a distilled version of the larger show was presented. Finally, New Yorkers could gaze upon the myriad of small scenes, fondly (or perhaps not so fondly) remembering the fun-da-mental changes wreaked upon their world views by particular images when they had more fully partaken of them in the past, or if they had never "been experienced" simply taking in the prints for their subtle beauty, wit, and historic value. MN, personal favorite is a small, twenty tab sheet bearing a picture of a chemist and the words, "Pure, Father of LSD Albert Hoffman." Who is Albert Hoffman? Well kids, that's another story...