From the liquid light shows and magic mushrooms of the 1960s to the techno raves and micro-dosing of today, psychedelic counterculture is repeating itself. Catalyzed by international climate protests, a sense of unity in collective political disillusionment and a strong focus on the individual, a new, digitally supercharged visual language is emerging.
Over the past decade, Leif Podhajský’s kaleidoscopic artwork has carved out a unique space for the resurgence of psychedelia, reinvented for contemporary culture through the exploration of the relationship between the organic and the digital. By highlighting the act of human perception and the fragility of the physical world as it appears to us in our imaginations, Podhajský’s work speaks to a new generation of curious minds.
Best known for his striking, Grammy-nominated album covers for the likes of Foals, Bonobo, Lykke Li and Young Magic, Podhajský deftly crosses the boundary between sound and the visual. The reverberating, ethereal vocals of Tame Impala’s debut album Innerspeaker, for instance, are embodied in the visual space of Podhajský’s iconic, ever-retracting dreamscape cover. Synaesthesia, which manifests itself for Podhajský as the appearance of colours with sounds, plays a significant role. Music becomes a pebble dropped into a pool of colour inside the mind, causing ripples to spread and shades to surface.