Art about, and inspiring, change…

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: These are the Sacred Mirrors.

Alex_Grey_Bond  “Bond”
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

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.


8 thoughts on “Art about, and inspiring, change…

  1. All a bit too existential for me Linnie! I promise to post an image of me tattooing that tat on Steve and the ensuing melee if the need for me to learn the art of tattooing ever eventuates but for now, I am happy in my blissful ignorance :). I might be a plebian but I tend to meditate on my dinner plate while I am eating. I tend to give thanks mentally to life, the universe and everything for allowing me to almost reach 50 and still “be” here against the odds. I tend to try to make the best of what I can with whatever I have available and be grateful for it all and that is my meditation. I guess I might be shallow 😉

    • :-), Narfie7!! I can just see you tattooing on Steve . . . I don’t consider you plebian or shallow . . . people are all different and we aren’t all here to do exactly the same things. and meditation is different for each of us, I think. Gratitude is certainly a powerful form of it . . .

      I’m grateful you are here, too, and I hope you are here for at least another 50!! (more would be good . . . lol)

      • You think you’ll be done on your property by then?? LOL

        Besides, that’s a purely selfish wish on my part . . . I will need blogger friends in MY old age . . .

  2. I’m not familiar with him, I’ll have to google him. You’re spot on about the sentimentality issue (if you ever scan the blogosphere for writers, you find oodles of it)….:)

    Self-criticism is the biggest struggle. I almost didn’t post the piece I put up today, as I just wasn’t sure it was worthy, and although no one comments on my blog, a few facebook comments make me wonder if my doubts were unjustified. It’s a struggle that never ends (no matter how much meditating I do…:). Don’t worry about not commenting on mine, there are too many blogs out there, and I don’t post very often.

  3. I agree about showing what is possible. It can be hard to do, and not received well if not done right, but we need more of it in all artistic forms. I recently wrote the first draft of a short story, and it has a positive ending, which I didn’t expect, and my first thought was, oh no, this must be bad…:) I’m letting it hibernate for a while before trying to decide if I actually pulled off a positive-ending story.

    • Yes, James, it is hard to do, and criticism is so easy, isn’t it? That story sounds promising, though. Are you familiar with the work of Guy Gavriel Kay? He addresses human issues in a very real fashion, no sentimentality, but even when there is sadness, it has its own beauty and is part of a natural order of things in life. As George Harrison said, “All things must pass”, and that can lovely and heartbreaking at the same time. So, to me, positive endings aren’t always slickly happy ones, but some are joyous indeed. Thanks for commenting. I like your blog, but haven’t said much over there. ~ Linne

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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