The word ‘genius’ is banded around willy-nilly these days and is mostly just arbitrarily endowed upon plain old mediocrity. It is then, very rare that someone actually deserves the title ‘genius’ and in my humble opinion one such person is the visual artist Alex Grey.
At first glance Alex’s paintings can come across as quite ghoulish but take a deeper look and you’ll be drawn in by their intricate beauty. They’re profoundly spiritual and depict a world that most only experience through a powerful meditation or under the influence of 5 dried grams of psilocybin mushrooms! Energy bodies radiate outward, semi-translucent figures expose the anatomy of the physical/spiritual body with skeletal structure, detailed nervous systems and chi energy lines all set over vivid, geometric and multicoloured backdrops, usually consisting of a multitude of engaging staring eyes.
His paintings are an amalgamation of so many different religious, mystical, cultural and spiritual archetypes and symbols, like a finely woven tapestry in oil on huge canvases. Alex is heavily inspired by his meditations and entheogenic experiences and I think this gives his paintings, which are very conceptual in nature, an extra air of authenticity. One of my favorite aspects of his work is his refusal to shy away from the darker parts of existence, as I feel this often overlooked side of humanity is the catalyst for so much spiritual growth.
Inspired? Me too!