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Australian art

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Live give love



Martin Sharp


21 Jan 1942 - 01 Dec 2013


A major figure of Australian pop art during the 1960s and 70s, Martin Sharp is renowned for his cartoons, collages, paintings and designs for posters and album covers epitomising pop's rejection of tradition and its love of colour, figuration and irony.

Sharp is internationally recognised for the originality and impact of the psychedelic images he created whilst living in London during the 1960s, when he was working as art director of the underground magazine Oz with Richard Neville and others. Oz epitomised the anti-establishment era of the 1960s with its irreverent, satirical and often controversial take on topics as diverse as police brutality, censorship, homosexuality and abortion.

During his time in London, Sharp established a strong reputation as a graphic artist, designing psychedelic posters and album covers for musicians and bands including Bob Dylan and Cream. His poster designs in the so called 'decadent' graphic style inspired Oz magazine associate Peter Ledeboer to set up Big O Posters in September 1967, to produce, promote and distribute all his work in this sphere and a number of these images (including 'Jimi Hendrix') are regarded as icons of the era.

'Live Give Love' 1967 incorporates Michelangelo's painting 'The creation of Adam' from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome into a larger explosion of bubbles, hearts, flowers, stars and planets to evoke the ethos of the era.


Place where the work was made

London England



Media category


Materials used

screenprint, printed in black ink on silver foil laminated paper


50.0 x 75.0 cm image; 76.0 x 99.0 cm sheet

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund 2014


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Martin Sharp

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

  • Sixties explosion, Macquarie University Art Gallery, Sydney, 18 Sep 2012–21 Oct 2013

  • Pop to popism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Nov 2014–01 Mar 2015

Referenced in 6 publications


Mike Evans, The art of British rock: 50 years of rock posters, flyers and handbills, 'Draw the dream', pg. 46-73, London, 2010, 66-67 (illus.). not AGNSW impression

Anthea Gunn, Journal of Australian studies, A-changin' times: the art of Martin Sharp in the 1960s', pg. 179-192, London, Jun 2010, 186. titled 'Give Love'

Michael Organ.,, 'Sunshine Superman', Bulli, 29 Dec 2013, n.pag. (colour illus.). viewed 31.01.2014,

Ted Owen, High art: a history of the psychedelic poster, 'Big O Poster Company', pg. 142-143, London, 1999, 143 (colour illus.). not AGNSW impression

Jennifer Phipps, Sixties Explosion, 'Martin Sharp, Big O Posters Ltd, London, England, Publisher', pg. 88-91, Sydney, 2012, 91 (colour illus.), 121. not AGNSW impression

Wayne Tunnicliffe, Pop to popism, ''The easel did not go pop: it went bang!': Australian pop art', pg. 137-186, Sydney, 2014, 168 (colour illus.), 304, 325.