by Alex Grey  


In 1975, after returning from a journey to the North Magnetic Pole in which I attempted to link up with the subtle geomagnetic field around the earth, I realized that what I was looking for was "God." A definite catalyst in that direction happened the next day when I entered the path of experimental mysticism by using LSD. This was also the night I met my future wife, Allyson. Our psychedelic experiences together gave us the confidence that inner space is as infinite as outer space, and made us aware of the power of Divine Love and the Imagination. I wanted to make art about consciousness, but I felt the work would have to be grounded in the physical vehicle, because the body is the temporary residence of the mind. I eventually began to see in the human anatomy a microcosm of the many systems and levels of order in nature. I spent several years at medical school working in a morgue preparing cadavers and studying the human anatomy.

During the 1970's and 80's I did numerous performances and installations based on my visions. One of these performances was called Life Energy and in it, among other things, were black and white drawings, life-sized charts of the nervous system and the Eastern life energy systems. I used these charts to make a point about the relation of Eastern and Western concepts of consciousness and life energy. I had demarcated a space in front of them where the viewer could stand and "mirror" the system with their own body. My wife Allyson noticed the popularity of the charts, and she suggested that I develop this idea further by doing paintings of the physical and metaphysical anatomy. I knew she was right even though I felt doomed by the project. Begun in 1979, the Sacred Mirrors took a period of ten years to complete. The Sacred Mirrors are 21 life-sized paintings that examine in detail the body, mind and spirit of an individual.

After painting the Sacred Mirrors, I applied this multidimensional perspective to painted visions of such archetypal human experiences as praying, kissing, copulating, pregnancy, birth and dying. I portray the body as translucent but hyper real, a complex of anatomical systems and glowing subtle energies visible to clairvoyants. To see and identify with the vital, psychic and spiritual energies of the subtle bodies may help broaden one's identity beyond the physical body, and provide for the influx of healing energies from a more perfect spiritual template. By using the visual metaphor of transparency ,the work alludes to the process of becoming transparent to the sacred ground. My paintings point to dimensions parallel to and interpenetrating the visible phenomenal world.

Many of my paintings are reproduced in the book, SACRED MIRRORS (available in several languages) published by Inner Traditions. My work has been exhibited worldwide, including Stux Gallery and the New Museum in New York City, the Grand Palais in Paris, the Saõ Paulo Biennial in Brazil, University Galleries of the University of Illinois, and La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles. I've been an instructor in Artistic Anatomy and Figure Sculpture for seven years at New York University, and in the past few years with Allyson, have been teaching a course on Visionary Art at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.

Inner Traditions (800) 246-8648

Omega Institute information (800) 944-1001


For More of Alex Grey's Work, Please Visit:

Sacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey  


Kissing (111.8K)


Praying (124K)


Nursing (94.9K)


Dying (89.4K)


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