Alex Grey, Art as Sacred Mission Part 1

May 23, 14 Alex Grey, Art as Sacred Mission Part 1

nal_lao_tujl_art_creativity copyFRIDAY . ART & CREATIVITY


Alex Grey is one of the most noted contemporary painters in America who has been involved in art with a spiritual dimension. His work is based upon the anatomy of the human body, creating disturbing images that challenge perception.

The principle themes underlying his work are death and transcendence, and the idea that art is a spiritual practice. Grey has become widely acclaimed for a series of 21 life-size figurative paintings called the Sacred Mirrors, which he began in 1979 and completed 10 years later. The painting guides the observer on an inner journey of discovery towards the divine, examining in detail the human body, mind and spirit to demonstrate the link between anatomical and spiritual forces.

With his wife Allyson and daughter Zena, Alex has created the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in New York, a space dedicated to art and spirituality, which hosts moments of prayer and meditation at the time of full moon.

Several large format art books have been published of his work: ‘Sacred Mirrors’ which have sold 75,000 copies and been translated into five languages, and more recently ‘Transfigurations’ which includes more than 300 images of paintings and drawings. Alex Grey has also written the introduction to the art book on the ‘Temples of Humankind’, published in America in 2005.

From Qui Damanhur Futuro magazine #5, January – March 2005

Damanhurian interviewer: Can you give me your impressions of the Temples of Humankind?

Alex: I think it will take a long time to really digest the impact of the Temples. I was meditating on it this morning, and, considering the state of the world, my overall impression was of a battlefield and a triage tent on that battlefield, where the human spirit has been found dead on arrival, and it’s been necessary to resuscitate it. The Temples of Humankind are the defibrillators or the electrified paddles that can shock the human heart and its divinity back to life, and this is medicine for the soul, this is desperately needed at this time.

The overall impression is a welcoming of all wisdom past, a balancing of masculine and feminine energies, a correspondence between heaven and earth. The re-establishment of truth, beauty and goodness as the linchpins of a spiritual potential. So, I think that when one goes into the mountain, it’s almost like being digested by deity. It has different organs, when you go through, different tubes and things. There is the alchemical laboratory, command post, center of the transformative process and by entering into the different elemental states, you activate that aspect of the psyche and the soul, and that element of the soul comes to life or is remembered.

So I was really pleased to hear that the orientation of Damanhurian philosophy, if I understand correctly, is that of remembrance of our divinity. I’ve found a lot of relationship with that through my own studies of Tibetan Buddhism. All of us have the seeds of enlightenment or are liberated already, but we need to realize it. We have sort of built up clouds and obscuration to our own divinity and spiritual practice enables us to get in touch with our core being. So the Temples felt like a living being that has many limbs and is potentially active in all Damanhurians. All of their actions are being performed on behalf of the planet and out of reverence and love for nature and our celestial origins, in the hope and a faith that this action will rekindle the hope and faith in humanity at large…



Are you reminded of our divinity through art? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Click here to read Art as Sacred Mission – Part 2





  1. david /

    I think the power of creation in art, making it something reallyalive is what is the most divine. Alex Grey’s paintings are totally alive with light and spirit. every artist has some unique spirit vision.

    • We agree! With focused intention and awareness in the process of creation, the art object becomes alive. All the best for your creative work. con te!

  2. Flashy Optimism /

    Alex’s art is a little to weird for my taste, i wouldn’t want to see the things that he sees. Or what he paints for that matter.


  1. Alex Grey, Art as Sacred Mission Part 2 – New Damanhur Blog - […]  Click here to read Art as Sacred Mission – Part 1 […]
  2. Alex Grey on Damanhurian Art, Part 2 - Damanhur - […]  Click here to read Art as Sacred Mission – Part 1 […]