Paint into Words
[RS Gallery] • Alex Grey is a visionary artist specializing in spiritual and psychedelic art inspired by entheogens and mystical experiences. His oeuvre spans a variety of forms including performance art, installation art, sculpture, and painting. Grey is a member of the Integral Institute, sits on the board of advisors for the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and is the Chair of Wisdom University's Sacred Art Department. He and his wife Allyson are the co-founders of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM) – a not-for-profit institution supporting Visionary Culture in New York City.
MR: What is your personal mantra?
AG: The great Tibetan teacher Namkhai Norbu introduced me to the Dzogchen Buddhist mantra "Ah," which one visualizes as a white letter in your heart and identifies with as primordial awareness outside of time and boundless in expanse. Also, I like the seed syllables of all the Buddhas, "Om Ah Hung," which you visualize in your head as a white Om, your neck as a red Ah, and your heart as a blue Hung. When synchronized with your breath as "vajra breathing" it helps affirm your own Buddha nature.
What does the role of Artist mean to you?
The Artist is a tiny reflection of the One Creative Spirit that
generates, and is, all realities. God creates the cosmos with love.
God is the creator of the unfinished masterpiece, "Time-Space
Continuum," which each of us helps co-create. The artist faces the blank canvas and invents new realities, and in a very tiny
microcosmic way, this reflects the macrocosm. The highest art aligns us with the "Divine Imagination," as Blake called it, and empowers our soul, catalyzing our path to becoming the greatest person we can be.
What is the driving force behind your creativity?
What transformative experiences have influenced your life and how has that manifested in your work?
My artwork is a way to share the transformative experiences I’ve had, so it would be better to look at my books or website to get a full idea, but I can say the coincidence of meeting my wife Allyson 33 years ago on the same night as my first LSD trip was the turning point for me. I would never have done the Sacred Mirrors without her to inspire them, and all the paintings celebrate our love and journey together.
How long does it take you on average to complete a piece of work, and do you ever do several pieces simultaneously?
I've been working for several years on the painting, "Net of Being;" two years on the "World Soul" sculpture; and one year each on "Cosmic Christ" and "Nature of Mind." Then there are paintings I do in one night, live painting events that last three to six hours. I try not to work on too many pieces at once, but that is part of the reason why "Net of Being" has taken so long.
Why should people check out your work?
Because my intention is to plant a seed of liberation in the
mindstream of the viewer.
How does your work affect Consciousness, and what are your views on the evolution of consciousness?
I've noticed various stages of receptivity to my art. The work
points to a mystic core of truth at the heart of all wisdom
traditions and affirms an integral universal spirituality. If you
have ever had a mystical experience you will understand my work
immediately – if not, it may take awhile.
The human species is evolving and waking up to our self-destructive bender called materialism and the twentieth century. Human evolution will allow access to dormant visionary physiology that allows us to see clearly, to see more easily when people are lying, and to recognize the common heart of love behind all our dualistic thoughts.
Kissing, 1983, oil on linen, 66 x 44 inches, used by permission of www.alexgrey.comTweet