Transfiguration: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey.
"Grey's vision of a flawed but perfectible mankind stands as an antidote to the cynicism ans spiritual malaise prevalent in much contemporary art."
Every once in a great while an artist emerges who does more than simply reflect the social trends of the time. Such and artist is able to transcend established thinking and help us redefine ourselves and our world. Today, a growing number of art critics, philosophers, and spiritual seekers believe that they have found that vision in the art of Alex Grey.
Grey's art leads us on a transformative journey through the opacity and darkness of the material world to the recovery of our divinely illumined core. Images of becoming of existential pain, search and confusion, love, death, and transcendence are icons in the long corridors of Grey's creative odyssey. From his earliest self-portraits and paintings of skeletons, to his most recent universal beings gridded with fire and eyes, Grey brings us and ever-deepening visual contemplation on the nature of personal and transpersonal identity.
Transfigurations is a continuation of the dialogue between body and soul begun in Grey's first book Sacred Mirror -one of the most successful art books of the 1990s. Transfigurations includes all of Grey's major works completed in the following decade, presented here in 202 color reproductions and 93 black-and-white images. These works include the masterful seven-paneled Buddhist altarpiece Nature of Mind; World Soul, a bronze sculpture of a divine being that symbolically encompasses all realms of consciousness; and Cosmic Christ, a vision of Christ that embraces all religions and the countless dimensions of the universe.
An essay by renowned author and transpersonal psychologist Stephen Larsen provides a biographical sketch of the artist's creative process, struggling with his demons and glimpsing the light of the beyond within. Grey's early forays into dark, transgressive performance art and his later theophanic installations are all documented in a special twenty-page performance section. Art critic Donald Kuspit elucidates Grey's primary subject, mystical light, as it manifests through his unique approach to the human figure. A conversation between noted philosopher Ken Wilber and the artist explores the exciting possibilities of art serving as a vehicle for transformation. Albert Hofmann, the chemist who discovered LSD, writes the foreword that places Grey's work at the conjunction of science and mysticism.
Grey's paintings offer the viewer unforgettable glimpses of transfiguration, as bodies become translucent to the light of Spirit, transparent to the ground of being. The occurrence of beholding and becoming "the light" us a phenomenon that is described in all religions and wisdom paths. Grey's "X-ray" visions show the complex interplay of the anatomical body and the glowing subtle energies of the soul, unveiling the relationship between our finite self and infinite spirit. Grey's quest is toward and integrative art that visually unites body, mind, soul, and spirit and help heal the alienation and fragmentation felt between the individual and the world.