Alex Grey grew up in a Methodist household until the age of nine, when his parents became disenchanted with religion, due to apparent hypocrisy and racism in their church during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. When Grey was 21, his first LSD trip and introduction to his wife Allyson occurred in a single night, transforming his agnostic existentialism into radical transcendentalism. Investigations into the nature of consciousness though shamanic performances in the 70s and 80s led Grey to Tibetan Buddhism and study of the physical body. Grey continued his psychedelic voyages with Allyson while employed at a medical school morgue, preparing cadavers. These sacramental sojourns led to a unique series of artworks entitled The Sacred Mirrors, and other paintings that "x-ray" multiple dimensions of reality, interweaving physical and biological anatomy with psychic and spiritual energies. The artist applies this multidimensional perspective to crucial moments of human experiences such as praying, kissing, copulating, pregnancy, birth and death, providing a glimpse into the luminous vibratory and archetypal domains of awareness described by healers, clairvoyants, and saints.
By referencing multiple wisdom traditions in his artwork, Grey's paintings indicate an inclusive vision, a universal sacredness. In 2004, the Greys founded the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in New York City, a cultural center and refuge for contemplation that celebrates a new alliance between divinity and creativity. The Chapel moved to its permanent home in Wappingers Falls, New York in February 2009. With a cult following ranging from rock stars to scientists, Alex Grey's works have become icons of the contemporary spiritual movement by virtue of their power to inspire, inform and illuminate the inexplicable.
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