Grey spent several years employed in a medical school morgue
preparing cadavers and studying the human anatomy. During this
period he began having a series of mystical experiences which
transformed his agnostic existentialism to a radical transcendentalism.
During the 1970's and 80's Grey did numerous performances and
sculptural installations based on his visions. Grey's unique
series of 21 life-sized paintings, the Sacred Mirrors, examine,
in detail, physical and metaphysical anatomy of the individual.
Begun in 1979, the series took a period of ten years to complete.
After painting the Sacred Mirrors, Grey applied this multidimensional
perspective to painted visions of crucial human experiences
such as praying, kissing, copulating, pregnancy, birth and dying.
Grey portrays the body as translucent, revealing complex anatomical
systems and interwoven with glowing subtle energies visible
to clairvoyants. Viewers recognize in his work a glimpse into
the subtle spiritual archetypal domains of awareness.
Many of these works of art are reproduced in Grey's book, SACRED
MIRRORS : The Visionary Art of Alex Grey, published by Inner
Traditions and now available in five languages. Grey has an
expansive audience outside of the traditional art world. His
work has been included in the album art of such popular rock
groups as Nirvana and the Beastie Boys and a book of songs by
the Talking Heads. The underground Techno Rave culture has extensively
sampled Grey's art, using it to promote all-night dance events.
Grey's vision of the human psychic anatomy has been used by
the Chairman of the Department of Alternative Medicine at the
National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C. who uses it
in his international slide lectures. Healers, body workers and
"new age" figures including Matthew Fox, Joan Borysenko
and Deepak Chopra have all used his work to describe the dimensions
of body, mind and spirit.
Grey's artwork has been exhibited worldwide, including Stux
Gallery and the New Museum in NYC, the Grand Palais in Paris,
the Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil, the Centro Culturale Zittele
in Venice, Italy, University Galleries of the University of
Illinois, and La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles. A major
exhibition of Grey's work was held at the San Diego Museum of
Contemporary Art in the spring of 1999. Grey was featured in
a television program about the brain, mind and creativity on
the Discovery Channel. He has been a key note speaker at the
International Transpersonal Association and numerous Art and
Healing conferences. Articles and reviews about Grey's work
have appeared in art journals and several spiritual and new
age magazines. Grey has been an instructor in Artistic Anatomy
and Figure Sculpture for nine years at New York University,
and also teaches courses in Visionary Art with his artist wife
at The Open Center in New York City, Naropa Institute in Boulder,
Colorado and Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York.
Acrylic on Canvas
84 x 46 in.
Thine own consciousness, shining, void, and inseparable from
the Great Body of Radiance, hath no birth, nor death, and is
the Immutable Boundless Light.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead