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Mike McInnerney

Artist Biography

Mike McInnerney studied graphic design at the London College of Printing, now the London College of Communication, leaving college in 1966 to take up the post of Art Editor at the counterculture newspaper ‘International Times’.

His participation in the London counterculture scene in the mid-sixties provided an opportunity to create psychedelic posters, street murals and editorial graphics for the alternative press, galleries, clubs and events that promoted the be-ins, love-ins, happenings and demonstrations, defining the times and acting as catalyst for the politics and social changes of the period. McInnerney's psychedelic posters, produced for publishing companies Osiris and Big O, promoted underground events such as the first gathering of psychedelic culture at the UFO club in Tottenham Court Road, The 14 Hour Technicolor Dream concert at Alexandra Palace and the Legalise Pot Rally held in Hyde Park in July 1967. A developing interest in Eastern Mysticism re-directed pictorial ideas visualising drug induced states of mind towards images articulating states of consciousness influenced by Eastern thought as expressed through Islamic pattern, Hindu narratives and other mystical teachings. These ideas were shared in the Dudley Edwards and McInnerney design partnership OMtentacle appearing in commissions for The Flying Dragon shop front, a hippy tea house in Chelsea’s Kings Road, and posters for music events at the Palais de Sports in Paris and the Roundhouse Arts Centre in London.

McInnerney moved from counterculture to mainstream graphics in 1969 with the album cover artwork for ‘Tommy’, the rock opera by The Who after introducing Pete Townshend to the teachings of Meher Baba. The commission was a natural consequence of a shared interest they both had in Baba's teachings whose philosophy and principal message of love struck a perfect note for the times and created, in 'Tommy', a distinct vehicle for spiritual ideas they both held.

His work is held in collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Theatre Museum, London; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, Cleveland, Ohio; the British Council and numerous private collections. Work has been exhibited at The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; The Whitney Museum, New York; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Tate Liverpool; The Barbican Gallery, London and The Museum fur Gestaltung, Zürich amongst others.