How exactly does an artist go about portraying the intangible? Alex Grey entangled his artistic skills with the memories of his mystical moments and in doing so found spiritual connection. His unique style is immediately recognizable – a kind of luminous x-ray technique – and fans of his work claim his paintings visually represent their own sacred experiences. Today he is internationally renowned as one of the world's premiere visionary artists. Comprehensive catalogues of his work are available in three DVD presentations and four books: The Mission of Art, Sacred Mirrors The Visionary Art of Alex Grey, Transfigurations, and just released, Art Psalms.
To house and showcase his work, Grey, together with his wife and best friend Allyson, created CoSM - the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors - and are currently moving the gallery from Manhattan to a forty acre sanctuary sixty-five miles north of New York City. This permanent home is a major manifestation towards realizing their commitment to the creation of a peaceful planetary civilization: "Through these works of art in this splendid setting we will see how every individual is a Sacred Mirror reflecting not only a body but also a soul, not only what we are now but what we can become when our greatest potential of wisdom and compassion is activated."
Grey describes his artwork as showing both the tangible world and also pointing to what he calls "an interdimensional luminosity - worlds of visionary splendor and beauty." He does this through the utilization of his x-ray style painting to depict "common human experiences like kissing, birth, caring, nursing, and dying which portray the archetypal human experience that is relevant and resonant to everyone." Through this combination, he perceives that his art points towards the "spiritual force, a creative force that I think runs through all artists."
By incorporating spiritual symbology of many religious traditions, he transcends them all: "Artists at the dawn of the twenty-first century have a unique opportunity to create universal spiritual art because the iconography of all sacred art traditions is available for integration … Symbolism from many world religions can cohabit a single picture representing interfaith and trans-denominationalism that is unique to our time."
His intent extends well beyond painting and presentation. Alex Grey has a mission: "My art is a stand for love and wisdom. No experience could be more profound or compelling than union with the divine. All the arts manifest from the creative force. God is the divine artist, source of the cosmos. When we align with our own creative energy we align with God. When we manifest this alignment by communicating it to others, this is art."
On June 3, 1976, we (Alex and his wife Allyson) simultaneously shared the same psychedelic vision: an experience of the Universal Mind Lattice. "Our shared consciousness, no longer identified with or limited by our physical bodies, was moving at tremendous speed through an inner universe of fantastic chains of imagery, infinitely multiplying in parallel mirrors … an infinite omnidirectional network of fountains and drains composed of and circulating a brilliant iridescent love energy. We were the Light, and the Light was God."
- Alex and Allyson Grey, from the Preface of Sacred Mirrors The Visionary Art of Alex Grey
Theologue is Grey's most popular and best selling artwork and has a long subtitle: The Union of Human and Divine Consciousness Weaving the Fabric of Space and Time in which the Self and Its Surroundings are Embedded. For Grey, that statement expresses the meaning of the painting. He has come to understand that Theologue depicts "an experience many share during deep meditation. When we see our own mystical experiences mirrored in sacred art, our subtle energetic template that forms our worldview is recalibrated."
How has art, either the creation of it or the perception of it, influenced you?