15 psychedelic artists you should know about

psychedelic artists

Many seek to define what makes art styles psychedelic. There’s a common belief that mind-bending art can only come directly from the hallucinations and experiences of psychedelic artists. Another definition focuses on the visuals, citing that this branch of fine art will include vivid colors, swirling patterns, and distorted forms.

However, the word psychedelic comes from the Greek words psyche, or mind, and delic meaning manifest. Many say that from the most macro view, psychedelic means mind manifesting. That would mean psychedelic artworks cover pieces that spring from the artist’s mind, whether it takes mind-altering compounds, the occult, or a wicked dream.

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History of psychedelic artists

Psychedelic art rose to prominence most recently in the 1960s counterculture alongside psychedelic rock and Underground comix. Works during this time were inspired by Art Nouveau with Victorian elements.

Before the hippie revolution, artists exhibited mind-manifested works, but society didn’t have a label for such a thing. Some 1930s Surrealist artists may qualify as psychedelic. Though there isn’t proof that psychedelic artists like Spanish surrealist Remedios Varo ate hallucinogens to paint, her mind-bending concepts earn her a spot on this list.

Flashing forward to the future, psychedelic art has evolved to include sweeping patterns, including repeating faces. Many pieces by modern psychedelic artists clearly depict a trip. With some, you can even tell what mind-altering substance inspired them. The current style is deeply inspired by Alex Grey, who is featured in this list of psychedelic artists new and old.

Alex Grey


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It’s probably no surprise that Alex Grey tops this list. His preferred label is “Mystic Visionary Artist,” and he isn’t just a painter. Grey co-founded the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM) with his wife and fellow artist Allyson.

This is a place of contemplation for the surrounding community. CoSM also serves as home to a permanent exposition of Sacred Mirrors, a series of life-sized paintings that depict the individual layers of human existence.

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His visionary art has also been appreciated outside of the counterculture by Tool, who featured an Alex Grey work of art on Lateralus and 10,000 Days. Since his first illustration award in 1971, Grey continues to create art that draws people in and inspires others.

Betye Saar

psychedelic artists
May 21, 1981 – Artist Betye Saar with one of her new collages at Baum/ Silverman Gallery. Published May, 27, 1981. Los Angeles Times File Photo. Photo by Los Angeles Staff Photo: Ken Hively / Getty Images

The work of Betye Saar features consistent themes of cosmology and spirituality. Saar works in assemblage, combining found objects in collage-style etchings and plates. “The Phrenologer’s Window II,” a 1966 collaged etching, features two human heads with what appear to be layers of the human experience. The visceral and the cognitive are displayed with stamps of red and found metals.

Saar doesn’t feature repeating eyes or vivid color combinations. But she does create work that brings new ideas to the zeitgeist. The unique, occult, and shamanistic themes seem to have sprung directly from her mind– mind manifested if you will. Also, this etching is literally called “Amid Hallucinatory Moons.”

Tokio Aoyama


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Japanese artist Tokio Aoyama is a pop art painter whose work has been featured on album covers of beloved American music artists like De La Soul and Dead Prez. In previous interviews, Ayoama shared that he’s influenced by American culture and works from artists like Mati Klarwein.

One of the most psychedelic pieces from Ayoama might be the cover art for Georgia Ann Muldrew’s “VWETO II,” a collection of astral instrumentals. From his use of color to the mind-bending imagery, Ayoama holds his own among modern psychedelic artists.

And though his work is inspired by psychedelia, he doesn’t necessarily need to hallucinate to pain. “I don’t need psychedelics to paint. What I paint isn’t what I see on psychedelics. It’s not like I take them and then decide what I am going to paint next. When I did take them it was just to relax and cleanse myself,” he shared with Dazed magazine.

Remedios Varo

psychedelic artists
A visitor watches a painting by Spanish painter Remedios Varo on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico City, on May 20, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Ronaldo SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images)

Spanish painter Remedios Varo had her first showing in 1935 before falling in with the Surrealists of Spain, Mexico, and France. She exhibited with a group known as Grupo Logicofobistas, who explored surrealism and spirituality.

“Bordando el manto terrestre” (or “Embroidering the Earth’s Mantle”) depicts authoritative-looking characters seemingly feeding reality to the earth below. In the book DMT: The Spirit Molecule, some people who consume DMT interact with large scale, deity-like beings who seem to alter the fabric of their past and future lives. Seems like the 1930s Surrealists may have been on to something.

Peter Max

psychedelic artists
Gotham Magazine Celebrates Its Summer Issue With Peter Max And The Humane Society Of The United States At Loews Regency Hotel June 25, 2014 in New York City. Photo: Ben Gabbe / Getty Images

It was the work of Peter Max that inspired thousands of hippies to gather in Central Park for Summer of Love in 1967. He created the psychedelic pop art graphic design. The poster launched him into the cultural eye, being interviewed on The NBC Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in a set design made of his own art.

His work in the 1960s and early 70s paired brilliant color with art nouveau and some mandalas. But by the mid-seventies, Max had moved into abstract fine art. Since then, Max’s pieces have been printed on Boeing 777 planes and cruise ships and doesn’t seem to stray from returning to his old psychedelic style.

Pablo Amaringo

This Peruvian artist paints his Ayahuasca visions in colorful and enchanting works of art. Each work includes intricate detail featuring patterns, plants, columns, and people he witnessed in his shamanic visions.

When he wasn’t creating fine art, Pablo Amaringo was a vegetalista and shaman in the Mestizo tradition of the Peruvian Amazon. He passed away in 2009, leaving behind a half-finished painting of angels.

Kendra “Ardneks” Ahimsa


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Ardneks, also known as Kendra Ahimsa, is an Indonesian artist and illustrator taking an innovative approach to modern art. His 2000s Tumbler meets art nouveau style touches a nostalgic place in the heart of Millenials everywhere.

The artist launched a line of clothes adorned with these illustrations in 2019, a project still going strong online as ARTiST ATTiRE. Like other modern psychedelic artists on this list, Ahimsa has also designed album covers for music artists and posters for music festivals.

Fabián Jiménez


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Using the path forged by graphic designers and traditional media, Fabián Jiménez creates trippy psychedelic art reminiscent of the work of Alex Grey. Expansive scenes feature optical illusions, repeating patterns, and all-knowing beings woven into one dynamic shape.

On his website, Jiménez shared that his intention is to “immerse the viewer in internal dimensions, interpretations of the Universal Unity and its eternal flow.” The painter sells shirts with his work and has also recently been experimenting with AI art.

Amanda Sage


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This American artist creates to evoke change in the human soul. Her classic modern psychedelic art style uses patterns and faces with lots of blues and yellows (though she does use the full palette of color in her body of work). A Sage work of art is often reminiscent of a trippy night sky or ocean, like the “Great Wave of Transformation.”

Her style has been appreciated by modern psychonauts. In 2021, Sage contributed to the Meow Wolf collaborative project in Las Vegas. Shortly after she had her first solo exhibition at the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum in Arizona.

Randal Roberts


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Here is another straightforward psychedelic artist who creates intricate imaginings surely inspired by mind manifesting. From pop art Dali-style depictions like “Young Frank x Guernica,” to an LSD-invoked patterned Guy Fawkes mask– Randal Roberts has range. And it’s possible we might not have art with such depth without Albert Hofmann and that fateful bike ride.

After traveling from New York City to San Francisco, Calif., Roberts has settled in Denver, Colo., where he continues painting pieces that bring pop art into the psychedelic sphere.

LinZy Miggantz


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Artist Linzy Miggantz is inspired by her own medicine. She consumes cannabis and psychedelics for Crohn’s, and her work features elements of both. Themes and techniques common in the psychedelic experience are also prominent. Miggantz’s keen use of bright colors, repeating patterns, and fine brush strokes complement her works.

Last year, Miggantz did a live painting with the Greys themselves for the CoSM. This artist is in her creative prime, definitely one to watch.

Leonora Carrington

psychedelic artists
“El gato” by Leonora Carrington is on display during a preview of Christie’s Latin American Art auctions, May 24, 2010 in New York. Christie’s will hold its Latin American Art auctions on May 26 and 27, 2010. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)

Back to the Surrealists, Leonora Carrington was a British painter who settled into the Mexico City scene. She was a prominent painter and was at the forefront of the 1970s women’s liberation movement in Mexico.

These works verge on spooky, enticing viewers to question reality and the beings within. Her 1951 work “El Gato” centers on a burgundy animal appearing as a cat merged with a biblically-accurate angel.

Her 1949 piece “Evening Conference” features figures unlike any in this world convening around a table. Though her work centers on the occult more than the cosmos, Carrington earns a spot on this list for pieces that evoke another real.

Mouse & Kelly aka Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelly

ANN ARBOR, MI – 1968: Stanley George Miller, better known as Mouse and Stanley Mouse, is an American artist, notable for his 1960s psychedelic rock concert poster designs for the Grateful Dead and Journey albums cover art. Photographed at the ‘MC5 House’ located at 1510 Hill Street, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1968. (Photo by Leni Sinclair/Getty Images)

Heavily influenced by art nouveau, Mouse & Kelly are the founders of Mouse Studios and The Monster company. The duo created psychedelic works for the album covers of brands like Journey and The Grateful Dead, rising to prominence in the 1960s.

The pair ran with a group called The Family Dog in San Francisco that threw dances. Nowadays, we call them club promoters. These parties broke them into the poster-making scene with the likes of legendary promoter Bill Graham. Each of their psychedelic art posters holds a memorable place in history.

Mr. Babies aka Nick Baccari


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Using collage Mr. Babies evokes emotion and imagination as many scroll through Instagram. Works like “Tourmaline waterfalls” and cityscapes at the base of an enormous Amanita muscaria mushroom use realism to bend the piece back to the absurd.

Many of Baccari’s pieces are made with collages and some feature animation that many praise on Instagram. Like @robgonzalez222 who commented on the aforementioned mushroom, “IM FRIED RIGHT NOW AND THIS SH** LOOKS SO COOL.”

Victor Moscoso

Poster of a KMPX Radio Station Advertisement done by Victor Moscoso, The Psychedelic Experience Rock Posters from the San Francisco Bay Area 1965-71 on Thursday, March 12, 2009. (Photo by Mara Auster/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images)

Spanish-American artist Victor Moscoso is supreme as far as art nouveau-inspired psychedelic posters are concerned. The fine artist illustrated for Zap comix, an independent zine credited with being the spark point in the Underground comix movement of the 1960s.

Moscoso’s “Neon Rose” pinups for artists like The Steve Miller Band use a method called vibrating colors. It evokes exactly that in the viewer. Somehow, his graphic images feel like they’re moving. His work set a standard that inspires show posters to this day.

Psychedelic artists

Psychedelic art includes brilliant colors, optical illusions, patterns, and more. Like most art styles, the lines that contain it are blurred. One thing is for sure, you’ll know psychedelic artworks when you see them.

Cara Wietstock is Senior Content Producer of GreenState.com and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.