Grey’s paintings can be described as a blend of sacred, visionary art and postmodern art. He is best known for his paintings of glowing anatomical human bodies, images that “x-ray” the multiple layers of reality. His art is a complex integration of body, mind, and spirit. The Sacred Mirrors, a life-sized series of 21 paintings, took 10 years to complete, and examines in detail the physical and metaphysical anatomy of the individual. “The inner body is meticulously rendered – not just anatomically precise but crystalline in its clarity”. Many of his paintings include detailed representations of the skeleton, nervous system, cardiovascular system, and lymphatic system. Grey applies this multidimensional perspective to paint the universal human experience. His figures are shown in positions such as praying, meditating, kissing, copulating, pregnancy, birth and death. His work incorporates many religious symbols, including auras, chakras, and icons with geometric shapes and tessellations in natural, industrial, and multicultural situations. Grey’s paintings are permeated with an intense and subtle light that is rare in art history. “It is the light that is sublime in Grey’s oeuvre – which is the most important innovation in religious light since the Baroque – and that makes the mundane beings in them seem sublime, in every realistic detail of their exquisite being.
Grey's father, a graphic designer, first taught Alex to draw. He later attended Columbus College of Art and Design for two years, dropped out, painted billboards for a year, then attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In his childhood he would collect insects and dead animals and bury them in the back yard. Death and the spirit are constant themes in his art. He spent five years at Harvard Medical School, working in the Anatomy department, studying the human body, preparing dead bodies, for dissection; from this experience he gathered detailed understanding of the inner human body. Also influential upon Alex Grey's style were his experiences with LSD.
There's a report of Jonathan Talat Phillips' interview with Alex Grey at Reality Sandwich website HERE
First question:The best place to see Alex Grey's artwork in good resolution, large format is at his own website HERE. I'll include just a few images, as examples.
When did you start making visionary art?
Alex Grey: My art has always been in response to visions. Rather than confine my subject to representations of the outer worlds, I include portrayals of the multi-dimensional imaginal realms that pull us toward consciousness evolution. That is the nature of all sacred art. The arts are the perfect medium for transmissions from inner domains. My entheogenic visionary experiences felt universal so I looked for a way of portraying these directly. My X-ray figures reinforce a sense of human unity and the mystical experiences they undergo hold a sacred mirror to the psyche.
|"Wonder - Zena Gazing at the Moon" 1996|
Natal chart using data from Astrodatabank - a birth time said to have been provided by the artist, but without detail of whether am or pm - caution is advised. I'll use the am version here. The chart for 9.45pm would give Leo rising (10*) Moon in Virgo (26*).
In the chart of an artist specialising in spiritual, visionary, and/or physically exact content I'd expect to see prominent Sagittarius - that box is ticked: Sun in Sagittarius. While the spiritual/visionary side wouldn't call for Virgo, artwork depicting detailed inner workings of the human body would, I think - another box ticked: Moon in Virgo, whether birth time were am or pm.
Additionally, Venus and Mercury conjoined in Scorpio are in harmonious Watery trine to Uranus in Cancer, an easy blend of the arts/communication with new ideas, somewhat eccentric-seeming to some viewers, though more easily accessible to others.
Also Jupiter in Gemini in Airy trine to Neptune in Libra echoes a similar blend of communication/publication and creative vision.
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