If you read my replies to comments on the last post, which was a re-blog (Save Our Seeds!), you will have read about how I arrived at Dr. Lissa Rankin’s website and purchased her book.
What I didn’t mention was that, in the middle of that journey, when I read the “Stardance Trilogy” by Spider and Jeanne Robinson, there was a reference to the work of artist Alex Grey being used as a focal point of meditation practise (Soto, or Farmer, Zen practise) for one of the characters. I immediately checked out Alex’s website to see the series for myself: http://alexgrey.com/art/paintings/soul/ These are the Sacred Mirrors.
According to the “Use of Art” page on the website, I am allowed to use one image, so long as it is no larger than 300 pixels square. This is half that size. He gives permission for his art to be used as a tattoo for free, only requesting that a photo of the work in progress and one of the final image be sent to him. (He also requests that the work be done by the best tattoo artist you can find, which I feel is more than reasonable.)
These paintings depict the stages of human evolution from egocentric to sociocentric to worldcentric (see the quote below in green). The detail is stunning, as is the imagery. In the book, the series appears on a wall before a meditator, one at a time, in sequence. I could definitely see creating an animation of my own to use in a similar fashion, although my own meditation practise differs from the Zen tradition. One does not exclude the other, luckily . . .
and then I read about the rest of Alex and his wife Allyson’s work and about the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors http://www.cosm.org/art/sacredmirrors.html
I’ve long felt that one possibility for art is to show us what’s wrong in the world (see The Scream by Edvard Munch or Guernica by Pablo Picasso); to me, a much greater use of art is to show us what’s possible, and I feel that Alex and Allyson Grey’s work and projects do just that. They are not alone, of course, but the work is monumental.
Alex has also created
. . . approximately fifty performance rites, conducted over the last thirty years move through transformations from an egocentric to more sociocentric and increasingly worldcentric and theocentric identity.
A quote from his bio on the website:
Countless teachers and spiritual leaders, including Deepak Choprah, incorporate Alex’s art in their power point presentations. Grey’s paintings have been featured in venues as diverse as the album art of TOOL, SCI, the Beastie Boys and Nirvana, Time and Newsweek magazines, the Discovery Channel, rave flyers and sheets of blotter acid. Exhibited worldwide, Alex’s art has been honored with solo exhibitions at Feature Inc., Tibet House, Stux Gallery, P.S. 1, The NYC Outsider Art Fair, The New Museum in NYC, the Grand Palais in Paris, the Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil.