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The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM) in New York will close at the end of this month. While the chapel will close with a New Year’s Eve party, the project will not come to an end.
Through the chapel’s corporation and with help from donors, they have bought a 40-acre plot of land in the town of Wappinger, 65 miles north of New York City and just a 20 minute walk from the MetroNorth train stop at New Hamburg. Here they plan to rebuild the chapel and develop an interfaith retreat center. There, eventually, they intend to construct a four story, domed temple to house the Sacred Mirror paintings and provide a place for rites of cosmic consciousness. There will also be studios, workshops, conferences, retreats, offices, visionary art exhibitions and an installation of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors permanent art collection which has become a context for a growing community.
One of the criteria for the Greys for CoSM's site selection, was that the land required rehabilitation. On the plot they selected were a number of old oil tanks. This required that the contaminated soil be removed and the surrounding treated.
Founded by the Alex Grey, and his wife, Allyson Grey, the chapel is a curious, combination of art gallery and New Age temple. The main attraction is an installation of allegorical paintings by Alex Grey that, in the context of a carefully orchestrated theatrical environment, is designed to transport paying visitors into states of ecstatic reverence for life, love and universal interconnectedness.
The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors proper is currently a long hall with red walls hung with a series of 20 life size paintings of standing human figures that Alex made in the early ’80s. They include pictures of naked racial types; images of people with skin peeled off to reveal underlying anatomical structures; and figures that have almost completely dissolved into patterns of circulating light. At one end of the hall, a radiant Jesus hangs next to a glowing Sophia. Grey’s 2006 portrait of the discoverer of LSD, Albert Hofmann, is displayed on an easel in the middle of one of the chapel’s other rooms. It’s called “St. Albert and the LSD Revelation Revolution.”
Hundreds have attended the Grey's regularly sponsored Entheocentric Salon, an all-night party involving, according to the Chapel's guidebook, “live painting, video projections, local and international DJs and musicians, live performances, lectures and visionary conversations.”
Australian Launch of 'Conjunctio – A Graphic Grimmoire' by Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule
Published by Fulgur Limited
Launched in London and Rome Sept. '08, in Portland USA in Oct. '08, now this Graphic Grimmoire returns with it's creator to his homeland for its final (and most spectacular) Launch, with a ritual theatrickal presentation of the book's alchymic processes, live musick (violin and voice) by the artist, and alchymic installation by Gobblyn-Smyth Productions.
Framed Original Artwork and signed prints from the Grimmoire will also be displayed and for sale.
8pm, Friday 9th of January, 2009 at 'The WICK', 361 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria.
The Book 'Conjunctio' presents mirrored pairs of Sacred Twins and Divine Lovers from various cultural pantheons coupled on facing pages. They are aligned in such a way that when the pages are turned the figures are United in holy conjunction by the alchemical reader.
Different reflective relationships -alchymic opposites and complementaries- are explored between the pages.
Sample pictures from the book have now been added to Orryelle's Gallery at beinart.org/~bisac
Installation by SHRINE
Featuring Robert Venosa, Martina Hoffmann, Alex Grey, Allyson Grey, Laurence Caruana, Amanda Sage, Mark Henson, Andrew Gonzalez, James Zar, Michael Brown, Dan Cohen, Micha 'Colory' Krebs, David Heskin, Aloria, Weaver, Leo Plaw, Voytek Nowakowski, Kuba, Orion, Adam Scott Miller, Jamie Burton, Adam S. Doyle, Radhika Hersey, Sensei and more.
In addition to the opening, the gallery will be open until the last weekend of January.
729 South Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Wednesday-Saturday 1-6 PM
Extended hours on Thursday, January 8th for Downtown Artwalk
News from Matthew Bone:
Matthew Bone - 'Like Giving a Kid a Loaded Gun'
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 13, 2008, 8pm – 11:30pm
Copro Nason Gallery – Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave, unit T5
Santa Monica, CA
In gallery 2 Matthew Bone presents a solo show of new work "Like Giving a Kid a Loaded Gun". Born into and reared by a clan of Tuscan Raiders in Los Angeles, CA. and raised on a diet of horror movies, comic books, and pornography, Matthew injects a distinctive voice into his work. Pride, lust, vengeance, the lurid underbelly of humanity, and the allegories that illustrate the consequences of its revelation have long been the focus of his work. By utilizing the conventions of pop culture, and its readiness to embrace the artifice as sincere, Matthew is able to create a reenvisioned modern mythology. His work has been shown in London, Berlin, Cannes, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle, and has been featured in multiple publications. Matthew lives with his wife Jennifer and their two pugs under a bridge in Hollywood, CA.
New Paintings by David Stoupakis at Corey Helford Gallery
The show runs from December 13th til December 31st with the Opening Reception on Saturday, December 13th, 7 til 10pm.
The music score for the exhibition was composed by Geoff Gersh.
You can view the entire show online.
8522 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Anatomy of Sorrow
Paintings by Daniel Martin Diaz
5790 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Exhibition: December 13, 2008 – January 3, 2009
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 13th, 7-10 pm
Like most viewers I turn to look, again, at each of Daniel Martin Diaz’s archaic yet riveting images. A second look at one painting, “Arbor Mors” peels back a layer of what its title implies. It seems to be an upheaval of the traditional tree of life. This is, instead, a tree of death. Yet, though we may be quietly horrified by this unexpected twist of something known into something frighteningly unknown, we can’t help but turn to look again. His craft as a painter is a compelling tool, as each fresh layer unfolds. This is the power of good art—that it draws us towards the artist’s vision, and causes us to willingly abandon our own worldviews, for a brief moment, to enter theirs.
Diaz’s work does not require a literary reading of titles to engage the viewer in a rich dialogue. His work operates on an ecstatic visual level. All-seeing eyes, embedded in the trunk, deviate from what might be an otherwise traditional icon of proto-typical European folk imagery. They lend a mystical aura with their Latin and Christian captions painted below one another. There are three eyes, a magic number in most mystic traditions. They are in visual dialogue with a skull, poised on a stick embedded in the exposed artery-like roots of the tree, one of a trinity (again) that lies mute upon the ground at the foot of the tree. Is the tree a stand-in for a cruciform? Other mystic symbols anchor foreground corners of the painting, drawn from the Kabbalah—or is it Masonic? As viewers, we don’t know. We can only take in this set of images so deftly painted against the glowing wash of sepia sky, itself hosting a universe of medieval stars, and trust that there is a vital question—or observation—posed here for our consideration.
It is to Diaz’s credit that he so successfully engages us in this rhetorical dialogue. The exhibit “Anatomy of Sorrow” continues to repay a viewer’s trust. It has been said that all great art must first disorient, then reorient. By this measure, Daniel Martin Diaz executes great art. —Martin Kim, Curator, Arizona State Museum
Drawing from old masters Jan van Eyck, Pieter Bruegel, and Hieronymus Bosch, both in subject matter and in the ancient egg tempera and resin oil painting technique, the works of self-taught artist and classically trained composer Daniel Martin Díaz possess a sincerity that foregrounds his deep devotion to revealing a higher meaning through painstaking craftsmanship. Through his application of a limited palette on distressed wood, his handmade wooden frames, and his expressive use of Latin text, Díaz's images thrust us into another time and place. The art of Daniel Martin Díaz has been exhibited in over 50 solo and group exhibitions in 17 states and eight countries, including three international touring exhibitions, and has been acquired for the permanent collections of nine art museums nationwide. His passionate creations have been commissioned for the PBS documentary The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer's, the CD artwork for Atlantic Records multi-platinum band P.O.D., and two large altarpieces for San Antonio de Padua Catholic Church in Guaymas, Mexico. In addition to Diaz’ extensive art client list, his music, Blind Divine has been licensed for film and television productions from MTV to the History Channel and recently has been included in the Lakeshore Records release of Clive Barker's feature film, "The Midnight Meat Train," Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
Above Right: Elegy, 2008, Oil on Wood, 20 x 16 inches
Below RIght: Golgotha, 2008, Oil on Wood, 21.5 x 21.5 inches (frame size)
After spending time in the Liminal Village at the Boom Festival where he was exhibiting, Robert Venosa made his way over to Vienna. Here he paid a visit to fellow artist Peter Gric, who he sat down with and discussed his artwork and a little about Fantastic and Visionary art movement.
The video of that meeting of two great artists was only recently made available on the internet.
James Gleeson, Australia's foremost surrealist painter passed away in October, aged 92. Gleeson's fascination with the burgeoning surrealist movement began in the '30s and continued growing through the '40s when the artist's travels took him around Europe, offering opportunities to see first hand the work of Salvador Dali and Giorgio de Chirico. At this time Gleeson became interested in the writings of psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. These would become major intellectual influences for his art.
Returning to Australia, Gleeson joined the experimental Contemporary Art Society and began on his own work. Characteristically, his pieces featured naked figures – quite often males – standing out amidst a turbulent background of psychedelic imagery, which often took on the appearance of swirling seas battling even greyer skies. Gleeson's themes generally delved into the subconscious using literary, mythological or religious subject matter. He was particularly interested in Jung's archetypes of the collective unconscious.
During the 1950s and '60s he moved to a more symbolic perspective, exploring notions of human perfectibility. At this time he increasingly fashioned small psychedelic compositions made using the surrealist technique of decalcomania in the background, to suggest a landscape, and finished by adding a fastidiously painted male nude in the foreground. Many of his paintings had homoerotic undertones, something which reflected on Gleeson's own sexuality. The ideas for these compositions also saw Gleeson move into collage with his Locus Solus series, where he produced a substantial body of work by placing dismembered photographs, magazine illustrations, diagrams and lines of visionary poetry against abstract pools of ink.
Since the 1970s Gleeson generally made large scale paintings in keeping with the surrealist Inscape genre. The works outwardly resemble rocky seascapes, although in detail the coastline's geological features are found to be made of giant molluscs and threatening crustacae. In keeping with the Freudian principles of surrealism these grotesque, nightmarish compositions symbolise the inner workings of the human mind. Called 'Psychoscapes' by the artist, they show liquid, solid and air coming together and directly allude to the interface between the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind.
Gleeson's later works incorporate the human form less and less in its entirety. The human form was then represented in his landscapes by suggestions, an arm, a hand or merely an eye.
In 2003 the Art Gallery of New South Wales exhibited Gleeson's drawings for paintings. His retrospective in 2004-2005 Beyond the Screen of Sight included 120 paintings and was exhibited in Melbourne and Canberra.
In September 2007, the largest collection of Australian surrealism ever collected was donated to the National Gallery of Australia by Ray Wilson. The collection included various works by James Gleeson.
Gleeson was a member of the first board of the National Gallery and worked hard to develop their surrealist collection. Throughout his life he also worked as an art critic, culminating in definitive histories of fellow Australian artists William Dobell and Robert Klippel. He was also a poet, writer and curator.
Awarded the Order of Australia medal for his services to art in 1975, Gleeson's talent was undeniable and his effect on the art world ongoing.
His works have been featured at the Art Gallery of NSW, the National Gallery of Victoria and the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.
"I've never accepted the external appearance of things as the whole truth. The world is much more elaborate than the nerves of our eye can tell us." James Gleeson.