Artist Alex Grey has released a new collection of art and paintings called Transfigurations, a coffee-table volume which contains stunning and mind-expanding images accompanied by essays and interviews into the meaning of art and the visionary experience. Among other topics, Grey discusses the use of LSD and DMT in his spiritual journey, and how the visions he has experienced have found their way into his art.
Transfigurations serves as both sequel and prequel to Grey’s 1990 artbook Sacred Mirrors, as it contains Grey’s newer works, but also details his artistic journey and earliest creative experiments.
Grey’s early work, made during the 1970’s, focussed heavily on the tension between life and death. He shows photos and describes various performance artworks where, for example, he hung himself by one ankle against a wall, with a cadaver hanging from the other end of the rope. Other early work included public bloodletting, public lovemaking with his wife in a plexiglass box, shaving half of his head, decapitating a rat, photographing strangely malformed fetuses and having himself hogtied and covered with hundreds of dollar bills in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
But it is his current body of paintings for which Grey is best known ? depictions of humans which show the inner bones, muscles and nervous system as well as the external energy, psychic and spiritual systems, combining to portray people as both flesh and spirit, human and divine. Grey’s work often seems to capture the psychedelic experience, with trippy patterns of eyes, force-lines and supernatural beings overlaid upon everyday reality.
Grey’s work is popular among contemporary rave and psychedelic culture. His paintings have been used on everything from sheets of blotter acid to rave posters, and he was commissioned to create the multi-layered cover art for Tool’s 2001 CD, Lateralus. With an introduction by LSD discoverer Albert Hoffman, Grey’s book is a must-have for anyone interested in arousing their senses and their spirit with a unique and spiritually provocative vision.
? Alex Grey: email www.alexgrey.com