Monday, 16 January 2017 11:34

The best psychedelic videos of 2015

Goodbye 2015, hello 2016. As in every year’s end, the daily psychedelic video is proud to present you with the only list of the best psychedelic videos of the year. This year’s list was meticulously selected from a list of over 500 videos which were featured on the DPV in 2015, and it’s more colorful and hypnotizing than ever.
 
How to watch these videos
We recommend dedicating a psychedelic evening to watching these videos on big, sharp screens, with good speakers and in a receptive, psychedelic state of mind. These videos are not for intended for standard YouTube watching. They can be viewed this way, but they are much better when you let them take you on a journey. They are about the total and ultimate experience, letting go and merging with the shapes and colors on the screen.
Over the years members of the DPV have arranged many psychedelic video screenings both official and for friends. It is always an amazing-mind blowing experience. If you arrange a similar psychedelic videos screening, please take a picture of it and post it on Facebook, tagging our Facebook page.
 
When I was done dying – Dan Deacon

Dan Deacon "When I Was Done Dying" (DDWIWDD) for Off The Air on Adult Swim from dave hughes on Vimeo.

Nine of the world’s trippiest, most psychedelic animators collaborated on “When I was done dying”, including Jake Fried, Chad Vangaalen and Anthony Schepperd. The result is a fantastic mixture of styles that still works superbly as a unified piece. (Original post)
 
Janzliker – Micah Buzan

Michah Buzan says he doesn’t do drugs, yet his videos are hyper-psychedelic journeys to alternate realities. In this one, Buzan created a mesmerizing and disturbing rendition to a song by Pala Leda, which he says, is open to interpretations. While he works by himself and draws by hand, Buzan’s creative output over the past couple of years puts him at the top of our list of psychedelic video artists you should know. (Original post)
 
Diffusion – Kouhei Nakama

DIFFUSION from Kouhei Nakama on Vimeo.

What if people could have patterned skin like animals. Kouhei Nakama says they will have it, and this is how it might look. (Original post).
 
Dry Lights – Xavier Chassaing

DRY LIGHTS from Xavier Chassaing on Vimeo.

Choreographed light meets organic landscapes in this spectacular video of an electric desert which comes to life. (Original post).
 
Don’t hug me I’m scared – Episode 4

The psychedelic web (quasi)children show Don’t hug me I’m scared released two new episodes this year. Episode 4, which makes some pointed critique on life in the era of computers, is funny, witty, psychedelic, and terrifyingly true. (Original post).
 
You Could Sunbathe in this Storm – Alicia Dunseath
Alicia Duneath’s graduation film from the London College of Art utilizes an masterful mixture of techniques, looking at the way we shape and are shaped by the world around us. (Original post).
 
The less I know the better – Tame Impala

The psychedelic Tame Impala does it again, and this time in a raunchy high-school tale which features a sexy teenager, a hot basketball player and a gorilla. We won’t tell you anymore but be sure not to miss the lusciously psychedelic colored body around 2:30. Psychedelic perfection. (Original post).
 
Inner Space Artifacts – Ben Ridgway

Inner Space Artifacts from Ben Ridgway on Vimeo.

Ben Ridgway’s Inner Space Artifacts transforms “artifacts from inner space” into “moving digital structures.” These are glowing and shining alien-droid structures you want to move into. (Original post).
 
Berg – Kanahebi

Berg from kanahebi on Vimeo.

A group of bio-luminescent psychedelic sea-creatures dance in an underwater cave, demonstrating great beauty and jellyfish finesse. (Original post.)
 
Crystal – by Delorean (Directed by Joan Guasch)

“Created from two 3D scanned characters, ‘Crystal’ is a psychedelic trip through different stages in a relationship.” Joan Guasch creates a confusing world of torn bits and pieces which float in space, advancing and receding in perfect harmony. (Original post).
 
People on the Sand – TRACA

TRACA "People On The Sand" Music video from Damien Bonnaire on Vimeo.

Nicholas Tracanelli doesn’t want to go where people are slow. He only wants to be with people like him. An amusing psychedelic pop song. (Original post).
 
Ex Animo – Wojciech Wojtkowski

Ex Animo from FUMI on Vimeo.

Wojciech Wojtkowski created an award winning and amazing hand-drawn universe of grotesque creatures and absurd scenes mixed with some powerful chamber music. (Original post).
 
Abstract 44 – Morgan Beringer

Abstraction 44 from Morgan on Vimeo.

Morgan Beringer’s Abstract 44 is a work of psychedelic avant-garde. The abstract moving color streams might remind one of an abstract-impressionist painting which has been awoken to life,  and while some of you watching this at the office might find it difficult to see what the fuss is about, in the right state of mind, this video can draw you in and take you on spectacular journeys. (Original post).
 
Days of High Adventure – Open Source

Days of high adventure is a spectacular fractal trance universe of numerous (elf?)machines doing their thing. Join the party. (Original post).
 
Julius Horsthuis – Our Fractal Brains

Our Fractal Brains from Julius Horsthuis on Vimeo.

Fractal master Julius Horsthuis gives a lesson about the ways fractals relate to the ways we perceive and think, in an especially stunning classroom. This video was not featured on the DPV yet, but we had another spectacular video from Horsthuis which you can check out here.
 
Ink Mapping: Video Mapping Projection on Tattoos, by Oskar & Gaspar

Ink Mapping: Video Mapping Projection on Tattoos, by Oskar & Gaspar from Oskar & Gaspar on Vimeo.

In 2015 the world’s first live event of tattoo mapping was held in Lisbon. Tattoo mapping is a technique which brings tattoos into life by projecting animated tattoos on them. Oskar & Gaspar created a spectacular video which documented the event and went viral on the web. No aftereffects were used. (Original post).
 
Subconscious Cinema – Dreamscience

Subconscious Cinema from Dreamscience on Vimeo.

Dreamscience masterfully edited a collection of well-known cinematic scenes into a powerful and disturbing video which manages to deliver a strong message while drawing from the collective unconscious of popular culture. This is how cultures dream. (Original post).
 
Understanding Perception – Beau Lotto

Beau Lotto – Understanding Perception: How We Experience the Meaning We Create from Future Of StoryTelling on Vimeo.

Neuroscience professor Beau Lotto explains how our perception tricks us into seeing not what actually exists, but what was useful for us to perceive in the past, and suggests how technology might enable us to challenge this perceptual fallacy. Director Steve West did a tremendous job translating Lotto’s words into a beautiful animation.  (Original post).
 
Grocery trip – Pouff

You cannot talk about 2015 in psychedelic video without mentioning Google’s Deep Dream artificial neural networks. When allowed to think in loops, the Google neural network algorithm dreams up crazy realities and lays them on top of our ordinary reality. 2015 was the year in which we learned how machines dream, and for some weeks the internet was swarming with Google Deep Dream videos. Some saw this as an interesting perspective on how human consciousness creates its own reality, while others considered this a proof that droids, too, dream of electric sheep. From the many Deep Dream videos out there we selected Pouff’s video which demonstrates how — for a machine — a walk in the grocery store might turn into a psychedelic mirage. (Original post).
 
Some forgotten 2014 gems 
 
While we try our best, we can’t help but miss some of the fresh psychedelic videos out there on the web, and sometimes these get featured on the site a year or two after their release. So, same as every year, he are some of the best videos of 2014 which we missed in last year’s list.
 
Pasarinho – Rainer Scheurenbrand

YouTube user Juan F created this beautiful video clip to Rainer Scheurenbrand’s Pasarinho. A good contender for the title, the best Ayahusca music clip ever. (Original post).
 
Draft Culture – Dorian Concept

Rhythmically moving Kaleidoscopic drawings in this video to Dorians Concept’s “Draft culture. (Original post).
 
Saint Joan – Husky

Husky - St Joan from Lucinda Schreiber on Vimeo.

Lucinda Schreiber directed and animated this beautiful music-clip to “St Joan” by Husky. The animation is fairly simple compared to some of the things you see on the site, but it works great together with the song. (Original post).
 
Zuma Teaser – Sam Mason

ZUMA TEASER from Sam Mason on Vimeo.

The spectacular Zuma teaser takes the viewer to alluring imaginary worlds which might remind one of the works of Moebius and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Too bad it’s so short. It left us wanting more! (Original post).
 
Intrinsic Gravity – Still

This spectacular op-art demo video won the first place in the Ghetto Scene 2014. (Original post).
 
Other Earth – Pouff

Pouff - Other Earth from Pouff on Vimeo.

Pouff’s other earth video might just be the best fractal video ever produced. We’ll let you judge for yourself. (Original post).
 
Conact – Vladimir Tarasov 

Finally, a trip back in time. Vladimir Tarasov’s “Contact” from 1978 is an old Soviet psychedelic gem which tells the story of a painter who is contacted by an shape-shifting alien. Almost as an instinct, our painter imagines the alien as a scary and belligerent creature, he runs away from him and only later, when he lets go of his fear of the unknown, does he find out this alien other can become his good friend. Drawn in s a style somewhat reminiscent of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, the film won a couple of 1979 awards. (Original post).
Published in NEWS Archives
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 07:59

Amazing 3D Projection Mapping Stages

The future is here. Each day it advances and each day it trips us out more and more. Combine our ever-expanding and mind blowing technology with the weird new sounds that electronic music introduces and you are left with a whole new type of concert going experience. In the world of stage visuals, Projection Mapping is the future. It turns our dance music shows into visually stimulating journeys out of our own minds and into the minds of the artists we admire.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most epic projection mapped stages we’ve seen in the past few years, so when your dad tells you about how trippy those “LIQUID LIGHT SHOWS” were back when he was a deadhead, give him a taste of these and watch his head explode.

1. BEATS ANTIQUE – A THOUSAND FACES TOUR

BEATS ANTIQUE has always been known for their epic stage performances combining elements of dance, live music, digital music, and immersive storytelling. Their most recent tour “A Thousand Faces,” was based on Joseph Campbell’s idea of the “monomyth” and “THE HERO’S JOURNEY.” The production was a creative collaboration of the minds of OBSCURA DIGITAL, director Ivan Landau, and the members of Beats Antique themselves. Upon first look, the stage design enchants the audience with it’s multi dimensional architecture housing two DJ Booths on either side for Tommy Sidecar and David Satori. The hypnotizing power of Zoe Jakes presence is magnified as the projections move in line with her tantalizing body. The visuals projected are stunning, transforming the stage into a circus, a haunted house, outer space, and a chinese temple. Yet, all of these aspects only touch the surface of the true depth of this performance. Miniature sets, balinese puppets, clay animation, and live acting were all specially created and integrated into the videos that the audience sees projected onto the structure. And during the performance both Tommy Sidecar and David Satori have the capabilities of controlling the special effects and projections throughout the show resulting in a truly unique experience each and every time. As you watch this performance, ideas of dancing or even acknowledging where you are will slowly fade away as you are reeled into your own “hero’s journey,” No drugs required…this time.

watch the video at: https://vimeo.com/79440434

 

2. SHPONGLE: SHPONGLETRON 3.0

SHPONGLE. Just hearing his name can induce intense acid flashbacks. And although the squeaky, wompy, and wonky music is largely responsible for these “mind opening” experiences, the visual performance also plays a large part. ZEBBLER who is the visual artist and video jockey for Shpongle (and EOTO) is a master of tripping people the fuck out. Shpongles music is on it’s whole own level, successfully transporting listeners into other dimensions. It’s not an easy task to create a matching visual experience that can be even crazier than what people see when they close their eyes. But Zebbler has got it down. He created the original Sphongltron for Sphongle’s 2011 US tour which included the infamous “Shpongle Mask” with it’s 6 laser eyes and rotating cubes. This stage was revolutionary for it’s time, but as the popularity with projection mapping has grown, Zebbler wanted to show people that he is still on top of the game. And so forth came the Shpongletron 3.0, just as epic as the first one, but this time with pixel mapped LEDs and infinity boxes embedded within the projection mapped tentacles and platform which engulf Shpongle’s booth.

watch the video at: https://vimeo.com/86108318

 

3. EOTO – LOTUS

EOTO, AKA Michael Travis and Jason Hann of the STRING CHEESE INCIDENT are also masters of tripping the audience out, but instead of using dj equipment, they utilize guitars, keyboards, and drums. To fully serve their purpose, they need a proper visual artist. Once again, Zebbler steps up to the plate. For EOTO’s 2012/2013 tour, Zebbler created a giant projection mapped Lotus from which Michael Travis and Jason Hann rise up as they take the audience away on their musical journey. The visuals flow along smoothly with the band’s constant improvisation, resulting in a truly fluid experience. The Lotus has always been a powerful symbol of finding beauty in a troubled world. Being drawn into a meditative state as we watch the talented musicians within the projection mapped lotus flower helps us to remember us how important music and art is in our fast paced worlds.

 

4. EXCISION – THE EXECUTIONER

Used as a three-dimensional screen for a high-tech video projection mapping production, the ‘Executioner’ stage first traveled with Excision for his 2013 tour across North America. This unique stage stands approximately 28 feet wide and is approximately 8 feet deep. Based on a three-dimensional surface model, HEAVY INDUSTRIES designed the framework for the stage to be built in 12 modular sections that could be assembled and disassembled with ease using a roto-lock system. The projection surface is made of rigid PVC plastic board, ideal for the angular surface and the projection needs of the project. The heavy robotic imagery designed by BEAMA VISUAL ENVIRONMENTS combined with Excisions tough-as-nails sound makes for a truly eye rattling, brain exploding experience!

WATCH THE VIDEO AT/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tloy0ldDvVQ

 

5. JANELLE MONAE & M.I.A. – HOLOGRAPHIC DUET

Although the holographic resurrection of TUPAC brought the ideas of holograms back into the minds of many creators, this is anything but a new trick. Remember “Help me Obi Wan Kanobi, You’re my only hope?” But really, creating a hologram is simply done by using an old theatre trick called PEPPER’S GHOST which dates back to the 16th century and involves angled glass, mirrors, and projections. Of course, given our modern technology, we are now able to perfect this trick. And with JANELLE MONAE and M.I.A.’s recent performance, Design Studio VITA MOTUS combined the old simple trick with newer projection mapping technology to create a visually mind blowing experience. Last April 2014, M.I.A. and Janelle Monae performed live duets with each other despite being on the opposite end of the country. By adding a 3d projection mapped stage, a greater sense of depth was added to the illusory experience. The Stage design featured squares spiraling backwards with each and every layer mapped out, creating some sort of futuristic vortex. The idea of the vortex is perfectly fitting for an experience like this where two people can be performing thousands of miles away from each other, but also right next to eachother. Makes you wonder what the future will hold. Exciting? Yes. But scary? Yes, a little bit.

WATCH THE VIDEO AT/ https://vimeo.com/92888968

 

6. DILLON FRANCIS & “THE GARY”

Inspired by the architectural work of FRANK GEHRY (responsible for topsy turvy buildings like The Guggenheim Museum in Spain and The Walt Disney Concert Hall) DILLON FRANCIS teamed up with design group “V SQUARED LABS” to create a multi dimensional abstract DJ Booth. Perfectly fitting for Dillon Francis’s often funky and twisty tunes, the structure turned in and out resulting in a truly eye popping psychedelic experience. Mirrored vinyl lined the inside of the abstract voids to create a fluid performance as well. They teamed up with the “PIZZA SLIME CREW” for “SEAPUNK” type visuals complete with cats, talking hands, and of course pizza.

WATCH THE VIDEO AT/ https://vimeo.com/94607778

 

7. CHILDISH GAMBINO: DEEP WEB TOUR

CHILDISH GAMBINO teamed up with MOMENT FACTORY to create an ironically projection mapped performance about illusion and reality within the internet age. This was a fully scripted multidimensional show exemplifying Childish Gambino’s validated worry for our world’s addiction to technology and separation from nature. Thin screens dropped down throughout the performance onto the stage creating multiple dimensions for the projections. Rain would be projected onto the first screen in front of Childish Gambino and his band while the screen behind them would have a cityscape projected onto it. Through the projection mapping and Gambino’s lyrics, the performance turns more into a movie rather than a concert, and one that offers an important lesson to be taken home.

WATCH THE VIDEO AT/ https://vimeo.com/92040037

 

8. ARCADE FIRE: REFLECTOR TOUR

Moment Factory also teamed up with ARCADE FIRE to create a unique projection mapped stage which required the participation of the band members themselves to be completed. Moment factory created a surreal LED cube mask which was worn by different members of the band throughout the tour. Although the backdrop of the stage was beautifully mapped and coordinated well with the colors of the lights and the movements of the band. The true magic moments was when the projection mapped mask was placed on the head of a band member as they ran around stage thrashing on their instruments with images of different faces, static, and other stunning visuals projected onto their “heads.” A sense of anonymity is invoked as they wear these masks, reminding us that it’s not about who or what it is creating it, but instead purely about the music and how it makes us feel.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE/ https://vimeo.com/91000833

 

9. INFECTED MUSHROOM: FUNGUS AMONG US EXPERIENCE

This collaboration between V Squared Labs and Vita Motus built a perfect stage for two collaborating DJs. By creating two geometric DJ Pods for INFECTED MUSHROOM to play inside, equal attention was able to be given to both the psytrance/psychedelic princes Erez Eisen and Amit Duvdevani. The Pods were not only projection mapped on the inside and outside but also lined with color changing LEDs along side their borders both within and on the outside of the pods truly portraying the depth of this futuristic structures. A projection mapped screen hanging behind the pods set the scene for whatever the pods chose to transform into, whether it be jellyfish swimming through the sea, industrial steampunk gears turning through a factory, or meteors floating through space.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE/ https://vimeo.com/44894175

 

11. SKRILLEX: THE CELL

The Skrillex Cell first debuted in 2011 during the first Mothership Tour and completely changed the game. Not only was it one of the greatest projection mapped stages of all-time, it was also the first time EDM fans had seen an giant, robotic projected Avatar of their favorite DJ that mimicked his every move. This multidisciplinary touring production mixed 3D projection mapping and real-time motion capture for live performance. Collaborating closely with Production Club, Phil Reyneri, Leviathan, and Blood Company the V SQUARED team helped bring the Skrillex Cell to life. V Squared Labs created custom animation for real-time projection mapping and generative, audio-reactive effects using elements of the proprietary V Squared Labs Epic 3D mapping video server. In plain english, Skrillex wore a custom suit that controlled a character being projected on stage, while simultaneously surrounded by brain hemoraeging projection mapped visuals. Pure insanity!

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE/ https://vimeo.com/70358030

 

12. TIPPER & ANDROID JONES

Tipper & Android Jones live at Infrasound 2013 from Android Jones on Vimeo. What do you get when you combine three masters of their particular field into one performance? A one way ticket into space, that’s what. With TIPPER‘s infamously tripped out beats, ANDROID JONE‘s mind melting visionary digital artwork, and GALACTIVATION‘s ornately designed structures, the audience is offered an experience like no other with attention paid down to every last detail. Galactivation, who has built stage designs for BOOM FESTIVAL in Portugal and art installations that served as PORTALS into Center Camp at Burning Man teamed up with Lucas Schwartz, JP Chapman, Nico Ortiz y Pino to build and engineer a beautiful stage deserving of Tipper’s psychedelic presence and Android Jone’s DMT inspired digital art. Talk about synergy!! See you in the stars…

WATCH THE VIDEO AT/ https://vimeo.com/84506250

 

12. AMON TOBIN ISAM TOUR

We saved this one for the last, because it is the most well known, and arguably the most epic projection mapped stage design. The ISAM tour truly set the bar for projection mappers around the world. And, for that, we truly appreciate them for opening up a wormhole of creative possibilities for artists all over. This project was a deep collaboration by a few of the big design companies we mentioned before “V Squared Labs” and “Vita Motus” as well as Director Vello Virkhaus, technical producer Alex Lazarus, LEVIATHAN and of course AMON TOBIN himself. First premiering in 2011 and then subsequently tour around the world for multiple years, the ISAM truly awed audiences with their groundbreaking projection and stage design skills. A stage design of geometrical cubes stacking and stretching along the entire length of the stage also housed Amon Tobin in his own cube in the center. The entire performance utilizes the structure of the cubes, “rotating” them, “flipping” them, “illuminating” them to create a surrealy mesmerizing visual experience. The set transforms from a fire fueled mechanism to a tron like grid into a candle lit forest all so entirely fluid it almost makes you question if what you are seeing is real. As with most of these stage designs, words do no justice in describing the unbelievable performance.

WATCH THE VIDEO AT/ https://vimeo.com/50411070

Published in NEWS Archives
Saturday, 13 September 2014 10:42

LUMINOKAYA ART EXHIBITION. MOSCOW

Дорогие друзья!
 
SHANTI GALLERY & QUANTUM TRIBE приглашает вас 19 СЕНТЯБРЯ на долгожданное аудио-визуальное мероприятие, на котором будет представлена коллекция новых работ художника LUMINOKAYA, совместные лайв анимации от ACACIA VISUALS feat Luminokaya под музыкальное сопровождение от ASTROPILOT - live. В верхнем зале для вас выступит с атмосферным диджей сетом IVGENERATE.

~VISION~

LUMINOKAYA art exhibition - выставка новых работ
www.luminokaya.com 

www.goa-freaks.com/visionary/luminokaya

ACACIA VISUALS feat Luminokaya - live animations
https://www.facebook.com/acaciavisuals 


~SOUND~

ASTROPILOT - live
http://www.mixcloud.com/astropilot/astropilot-live-at-utopia-boom-landing/

IVGENERATE - dj-set
https://soundcloud.com/ivgenerate/f


Начало мероприятия в 20:00.

Место проведения: Галерея-ресторан «Shanti»

Адрес: Москва, Мясницкий проезд, 2/1, телефон ресторана: 8(495) 783-68-68

ОРГВЗНОС - 500р


Выставка продлится до воскресенья 21 сентября.

В течении выставки у вас будет уникальная возможность лично пообщаться с создателем работ и участниками мероприятия.

По вопросам приобретения работ обращайтесь на почту This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Интересующимся мировой психоделической живописью рекомедуем свежий выпуск интерактивного журнала Sunday Freak на сайте www.goa-freaks.com , посвящённого VISIONARY ART & VISIONARY ARTISTS.
 
Published in News
This is a special area of top secret information from the Past, Present and Future of Goa Freaks World.
Today we will make a deep dive into the world of psychedelic art
 
The world of psychedelic art has been around for as long as people have been getting high and picking up paintbrushes. Many believe it reached it's popular peak in the late 60's when the hippy movement and flower power was all the go. I guess that is a fair argument. That's not to say that psychedelic and visionary art isn't popular anymore. Far from it - there are thousands of psychedelic and visionary artists around the globe who are creating amazing images using a whole range of interesting techniques.
 
Here I would like to present what I believe are some  of the leading psychedelic and visionary artists working in the field today. Some of these artists are so technically brilliant in their usage of digital processes that it makes my mind boggle as to how they do it. A number of these names will be instantly familiar to some of you such as artists Alex Grey and Martina Hoffmann while others might be lesser well known so take the time to follow up on them and visit their websites for some amazing visions of the inner mind. 
 
This list is in no particular order and I'll add more details about other artists listed soon so check back again sometime.
 
1. Andrew ( Android ) Jones
 
 
Currently one of the leading digital psychedelic visionary artists in the world today. Andrew works in the field of visual concept art, creating images for film, fashion and gaming. More recently he has been working on designs for music festivals and bands. His artwork has been featured on album covers of several electronic and psybient music artists such as Bluetech, Beats Antique, Sporeganic, and Phutureprimitive.
 
2. Justin Guse
 
 
 
 
Justin is a highly skilled digital artist who creates stunning fantasy visionary hybrids. He is also very active in creating vector art, logo designs, promo material and user interfaces. His work has a leading edge look to it that combines patterns and shapes from a digital world with the more organic feel of spiritual practices.
 
3. Tokio Aoyama
 
 
An artist who paints with a combination of metaphysical, spiritual, and music themes, Tokio Aoyama hails from a tiny town in the north of Japan. Tokio has painted murals and has done commission work for clients all over the world. He has designed art for record labels Epistrophik Peach Sound, Mello Music, Moamoo, and Jazzy Sport. Presently he is looking to share insight into Japanese culture, history, and tradition such as tattooing and art trends of present day Japan.
 
4. Andy Thomas
 
 
 
Andy Thomas' work creates a visual fusion between Nature and Technology. By taking photos of plants, insects and machines and compositing them with artificially created forms in various 3D programs. The very process of the art he creates is symbolic of mankind’s continuing corruption of the natural world. His photographic endeavours have led him to such exotic locations as Borneo, Laos and the rainforests of Tasmania and the Daintree River.
 
5. Carey Thompson
 
 
 
Carey creates wildly colorful psychedelic vision that include concepts of spirituality, molecular biology, environmentalism and global peace. In recent years he has worked on large scale sculptures and bio-constructions for music festivals and spiritual gatherings.
 
6. Justin Bonnet
 
 
Justin is a new artist on the scene who is really pushing the envelope with what can be achieved using digital techniques. His understanding of color and composition is as good as I've ever seen. Truly remarkable work and he deserves more attention from the art world that's for sure. He is currently busy working full time to support his love of art so let's hope he can one day get enough fans to support his artwork full time.
 
7. George Atherton
 
 
 
Another huge young talent in the field of artistic psychedelic visions. George works primarily in the digital medium. After drawing concepts in his sketchbooks and dream-journals, he fully realizes those concepts using an electronic drawing pad and digital ink. He draws inspiration from a variety of related subjects, including meditation & Yoga, martial artistry, lucid dreaming, comparative mythology, culture jamming, and permaculture. Superb artist.
 
8. Luke Brown
 
 
Luke is well known in the psychedelic community for being one of the first artist to create complex, vividly colorful psychedelic art that combines traditional and digital techniques. His art has been shown internationally with such visionary heavyweights such as Alex Grey, HR Giger, Robert Venosa and Ernst Fuchs. His art is highly sought after - so much so that his has had the misfortune of seeing a great deal of his art work, including digital files and full sculptures , stolen by thieves over the past few years !
 
9. Mario Martinez 
 
 
Mario, a.k.a MARS-1, paints from a penetrating perspective of great depth. Viewers are drawn into his imaginative compositions, overflowing with colorful geometric and organic shapes, layered to form unique patterns and textures. The artist signature style of vast, abstracted, quasi-extraterrestrial looking landscapes feature imagery of surreal distortions, contained within spherically convex transparent bubbles.
 
10. Fabien Jimenez
 
 
Fabian draws inspiration from nature, mainly from the architecture of insects and plants. He is deeply obsessed with the tiny micro patterns nature is capable of bringing everywhere; their intricate shapes reveal grids of sacred geometry, and it is there where he take his pencil and attempts to channel them. Although he is a highly skilled traditional artists I think it is his recent digital work with ZBrush and Painter where he really shines.
 
11. David Normal

David began his art journey by making posters for punk band when he was 16 years old and then moved onto theater and party production, 3d animation work and film. These days he is focused on oil painting where he is able to express his varied interests in psychedelia and psychedelic culture on canvas in large full of spiraling visions that mix sexuality, religion, spirituality and death.
12. Amanda Sage

Amanda Sage's art is well known to psychedelic trance and psychill listeners here at the psyamb podcast because he were is often on display at international dance parties around the world. Born 1978 in Denver, Colorado; her adventurous spirit carried her to Bali, then on to Vienna, Austria to study classical painting with Michael Fuchs, resulting in becoming a long time painting assistant to Ernst Fuchs.
13. Alex Grey

Ask anyone who their favorite psychedelic artist is and Alex Grey will no doubt be a very popular answer. Alex has an amazing ability to go beyond this world, into the world of the psychedelic experience, bring back what he see there and directly translate it onto canvas. Much like Salvador Dali, what sets Alex's work apart is not just his vivid imagination but also his technical ability. Every inch of his paintings are meticulously worked on as applies decades of training to create the ultimate visionary masterpieces. 
14. Martina Hoffmann

Martina Hoffmann is a world renown psychedelic visionary artist with a long history in creating amazing surreal and dreamlike images that are inspired by her own inner journeys. Her technical skill increases year after year to a point now where here works are considered true masterpiece paintings. 
 
15. Chris Dyer

Chris is a young Canadian based Peruvian artist who has a created a instantly recognizable individual style of psychedelic art that appeals to a wide range of visionary art fans. His work has a graffiti street style art feel about it that could well be a result of his upbringing in Peru. His is very active in getting his work known around the world through his excellent website PositiveCreations where he has a shop that sells his original works, prints, clothing and more. 
16. Adam Pinson ( a.k.a RedEyeArt )
 
I first ran across Adam's work as a member of the DeviantArt collective where we both regularly posted our own psychedelic pencil artwork over the past 10 years or so. I was always and still am astounded by just how crisp Adam's colorful pencil drawings appeared to be and I would sometimes ask him for tips for which he was always more than helpful. Much like Chris above, Adam too has defined his own unique and distinctive style that has won many fans worldwide.
17. Daniel Mirante
 
Daniel is an artist and author especially focused upon a revival of a sense of the sacred in the creative process and the natural world. His paintings have evolved over the years to a point now where he his work displays a real sense of confidence and sublime technique. I can see hints of Venossa, Dali and Fuchs in his work. For someone so young the sky is the limit.
18. Michael Garfield
Hooo Do You Love? main photo

Michael makes use of paint markers to create bright, detailed psychedelic art which he completes in front of live audiences at festivals and art shows around the world. He comes from a background in scientific illustration which you can definitely see influences of in his amazing work. He is also an accomplished musician. You can see and hear all about Michael's talents at his blog michaelgarfield.blogspot.com .
19. Johnathan Solter


Jonathan Solter is an artist living and working in the Bay Area. He dedicates his time to art, life and love. Illustration, stage design, live painting and murals are his main artistic focuses. He loves the creative community in the Bay Area and is busy co-creating his dreams with other like-minded artists. His art has been created and shown internationally as well as across the West. You can view more of Johnathan stunning psychedelic art at a number of psytrance and music festivals were he does live paintings or view online at his website.
20. Cameron Gray

Cameron Gray is an award winning Australian visionary graphic artist and photographer. Cameron’s work is regularly displayed in live music venues across Australia, the Museum of Computer Art in Brooklyn, New York, and his body of work has been selected for preservation by the National Library of Australia as one of the countries artists of the 21st century. More of Cameron's trippy art backgrounds can be viewed online here at his Parable Visions website.
21. Keerych Luminokaya

Russian artist Luminokaya creates extremely detailed and complex psychedelic digital art. Your eyes can get lost for hours poring over the details while your brain tries to process all the little details within. He is also an accomplished airbrush artist having produces a number of trippy blacklight posters for various festivals and events.  
22. Matei Apostolescu
picture of a psychedelic cat

Matei Apostolescu (aka Beaucoupzero), is a freelance illustrator living in Romania. Even if you haven't heard the name before you have probably seen some of his unique psychedelic paintings. His trippy lion, cat and psychedelic skull paintings have spread all over the internet and social networks. He make use of all kinds of tools ranging from rotring pencils, markers, spray paint to Wacom tablet, Photoshop and Illustrator.
23. Josip Csoor

Josip Csoor is a Serbian visionary artist who has found a new fan base on the internet after struggling for many years with trying to get his art appreciated in his home country. His art speaks the language of the cosmos and is filled with the light of creation. Having mastered just about every form of painting technique he now passes on his knowledge of 30 years of painting to younger generations. 
 
24. Skee Goedhart
 
25. Eric Nez
 
26. Jess Noemind
 
27. Hana Alisa Omer
 
28. Neil Gibson
 
29. Pouyan Khosravi
 
30. Dennis Konstantin
 
31. Shawn Hocking
 
32. Roman Villagrana
 
33. Seth McMahon
 
34. Ted Wallace
 
35. Simon Haiduk
 
36. Isaac Mills
 
37. David Heskin
 
38. Adam Scott Miller
 
39. Kelsey Brookes
 
40. Patricia van Lubeck
  
41. Michael Divine
 
42. Randal Roberts
The story of psychedelic visuals did not begin in the 1960s. It is in fact an extremely long tale which stretches from mankindís prehistorical mystical visions, through the psychedelic revolution of the sixties, to modern consumerist media society and beyond. In order to understand the appeal which the psychedelic visual style holds for our postmodern culture one must get back to the roots of psychedelic aesthetics in the visionary experience.

Pre-natural light and colour are common to all visionary experiencesî wrote Aldous Huxley in his Heaven and Hell ìand along with light and colour there comes in every case, recognition of heightened significance. The self-luminous objects which we see in the mindís antipodes possess a meaning, and this meaning is, in some sort, as intense as their colour.î
Visionary experiences has many possible characteristics, but the most common of which, according to Huxley, is the experience of light: ìEverything seen by those who visit the mindís antipodes is brilliantly illuminated and seems to shine from within. All colours are intensified to a pitch far beyond anything seen in the normal state, and at the same time the mindís capacity for recognizing fine distinctions of tone and hue is notably heightened.
Huxley ís lengthy discussion about the aesthetics of the visionary and psychedelic experience in Heaven & Hell remains one the most perceptive pieces about the roots of psychedelic aesthetics. His rich background as a scholar of aesthetics, a scholar of mysticism and a pioneering practitioner of psychedelic journeys, allows him to examine the issue of the visual characteristics of psychedelia from a large historical and philosophical perspective which is essential if one is to decipher the true meaning of psychedelic aesthetics.
All psychedelic visions are unique, claimed Huxley, yet they all ìrecognizably belong to the same speciesî. What they have in common are the preternatural light, the preternatural colour and the preternatural significance, as well as more specific architectures, landscapes and patterns which tend to reoccur across psychedelic and visionary experiences. For Huxley this intense colour and light was one of the primary and most indelible characteristics of what he called the mindís antipodes, the unknown territories to which the psychedelic voyager is transported.
 
Looking at the traditions of various cultures, past and present, Huxley found a common ground between their accounts of the heavens or the fairylands of folklore and the lands of the antipodes. He noted the existence of Other Worlds, mythological landscapes of fantastic beauty in many of the worldís cultural traditions. In the Greco-Roman tradition there were the Garden of Hesperides, the Elysian Plain and the Fair Island of Leuke. The Celts had Avalon, while the Japanese had Horaisan and the Hindu Uttrarakuru. These other worldly paradises, noted Huxley, abound with intensely coloured and luminescent objects which bring to mind the psychedelic visionary experience. ìEvery paradise abounds in gems, or at least in gemlike objects resembling as Weir Mitchell puts it, ëtransparent fruit. Wrote Huxley. Ezikelís version of the Garden of Eden notes the many various stones in the garden, while ìThe Buddhist paradises are adorned with similar ëstones of fireíî. The New Jerusalem is constructed in glimmering buildings of shimmering stone. Platoís world of the ideals is described as a reality where ìcolours are much purer and much more brilliant than they are down hereî.

Huxley introduces many more examples of ancient cultures which establish the import and centrality of glimmering gems and precious stones in various mythologies. The implication he draws from this consistency is that the ìotherwise inexplicable passion for gems ìmust have had its roots in ìthe psychological Other World of visionary experienceî. In other words, ìprecious stones are precious because they bear a faint resemblance to the glowing marvels seen with the inner eye of the visionary.î
Moreover, Huxley notes, ìamong people who have no knowledge of precious stones or of glass, heaven is adorned not with minerals but with flowersî. Many more examples follow for the various intensely coloured, shiny and often luminescent objects in which man had sought the semblance of the Other Worlds, among them candles, works of jewellery, crowns, silks and velvets, medals, glassware, the vision inducing stained glass windows of churches and even ceramics and porcelain ware. All these, argued Huxley, act to transport human beings into higher realities: ìcontemplating them, men find themselves (as the phrase goes) transported ñcarried away toward that Other Earth of the Platonic Dialogue, that magical place where every pebble is a precious stone.î Shiny objects, argued Huxley, remind the unconscious of the mindís antipodes and so allow us to experience a taste of visionary consciousness.
The human urge to be transported into the numinous realm has found its expression in mythologies and religion, but also in art. Huxley notes a number of artists who used colours in transporting ways such as Caravaggio, Geroges de Latour, and Rembrandt. Indeed, he notes:
ìPlato and, during a later flowering of religious art, St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that pure bright colors were of the very essence of artistic beauty


Psychedelic Art
Although Huxley argues that this categorical equation of beauty with bright colors leads to absurdity, he also finds this doctrine to be not altogether devoid of truth. ìBright pure colors are the essence, not of beauty in general, but only of a special kind of beautyî: the beauty of works of art which can transport the beholderís mind in the direction of its antipodes.
Modern taste is often reserved about using intensely bright colors, and prefers the more restrained and undemonstrative palette of minimalism and modernist design. The reason, argued Huxley, is that ìwe have become too familiar with bright pure pigments to be greatly moved by themî. In the past, pigments and colors were costly and rare. The richly colored velvet and brocades of princely wardrobes, and the painted hangings of medieval and early modern houses were a rarity reserved for a privileged minority, while the majority of the population lived a drab and colorless existence. This all changed with the modern chemical industry and its endless variety of dyes and colors. ìIn our modern world there is enough bright color to guarantee the production of billions of flags, and comic strips, millions of stop signs and taillights, fire engines and Coca-Cola containersî, and all those objects which in the past might have possessed a transporting numinous quality were reduced by the new industrial consumer market into ordinary banality.

The evolution of psychedelic aesthetics in modern times.
The potential of psychedelics to act as powerful catalysts for creativity in general and for visual artists specifically was  noted by researchers of psychedelics already in the 1950s. Oscar Janiger who administered psychedelics to artists was immediately flooded with artists enthusiastic to explore their creativity through the use of psychedelics. ìNinety-nine precent expressed the notion that this was an extraordinary, valuable tool for learning about artî. Ron Sandison noted a patient whose style changed completely after a psychedelic experience ìand she began to paint in the style she wanted to, which was imaginativeî.
Many more anecdotal accounts of the artistic merit of psychedelics appear during these years. However, the great aesthetic shift ushered by psychedelics would only come as a result of their popularization in the mid-1960s. The psychedelic revolution has brought the visionary aesthetic which stood at the center of many works of art and religion back to the foreground of western culture, but now through the prism of the emerging pop culture of the 1960s.
San Francisco psychedelic poster artists such as Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Wes Wilson, Stanely Mouse & Alton Kelley redefined the boundaries of numinous aesthetics by integrating it into commercial psychedelic posters which advertised bands and  rock concert.
 
These psychedelic artist, who experimented with colors and forms  were inspired to a great extent by the Art Nouveau movement of early 20th century and itís emphasis on organic forms and lines, as well as in the idea of life as art. The aesthetic of these posters would define a new artistic style that would be widely distributed and collected.  Meanwhile, psychedelic art flourished outside the poster genre. Visual artists such as Mati Klarwein, Robert Fraser and Milton Glaser designed psychedelic album covers for the likes of Miles Davis, the Beatles and Bob Dylan.

Other forms of psychedelic aesthetics have emerged in various cultural domains. Psychedelic fashion was popularized by rock artists and countercultural figures and even introduced into couture by designers such as Emilio Pucci, Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin. Psychedelic light shows by psychedelic light show artists and groups such as Marc Boyle, Mike Leonard and The brotherhood of light became a popular trend in music concerts. (Here one should also note an extremely popular form of  psychedelic aesthetics, which is the luminescent culture of Burning Man Festival, whose fascination with glowing colors  have turned it over the years into a distinct form of light-worship, a spiritual fest ordered around the heavenly glow Huxley referred to in his work). Psychedelic architectural and inner designs flourished in the communes and were experimented with by a variety of architects and designers as thoroughly documented in the book ìSpaced Outî.
What these various genres of psychedelic aesthetics had in common was the use of intensive coloring, extensive use of natural lines, extensive use of op-art as well as of elaborate patterns and designs that sought to transport the viewer into a different state of consciousness. Like the other forms of psychedelic culture, psychedelic aesthetic was a new artistic genre which was rooted in the psychedelic experience and at the same time a cultural artifact which attempted to recreate some of the elements of the psychedelic experiences within the domain of culture.

Yet, by the late sixties psychedelic aesthetics have already left the realms of the counterculture, and started being absorbed by the larger culture, as their commercial potential began being tapped into by various enterprises from Pepsi and McDonalds to Campbell and General Electric so that by the mid-1970s, the psychedelic visual style had been largely absorbed into the mainstream consumer culture which the hippies sought to change.
Saturday, 28 December 2013 11:09

Luminokaya

Welcome!
Art-project Luminokaya lab. appeared as a result of a huge amount of data coming from the great field of energy and information in forms of light and energy waves, visions, images, dream-state objects, trans personal visions and visions beyond personality, and also symbols, signs and channeling. The vast amount of information offered by The Space didn’t allow to ignore this exciting and rich experience.

My input was minimized to pressing the keyboard keys, and the awareness of infinity and abundance of the info-energy continuum can let me speak only about being a channel, or a medium. So, there can’t be any question of authorship.

Let this art-information be a little contribution to the process of uniting people of light and realizing our light-carrying potential!

For the benefit of all beings.

Арт-проект Luminokaya lab. возник как следствие того, что из общего энерго-информационного поля стало поступать огромное количество данных в виде волн энергии и света, видений, образов, объектов сновидения, трансперсональных и надличностных прозрений, а также символов, знаков и ченнелинга. Обширность предлагаемой пространством информации не позволила игнорировать этот крайне увлекательный и познавательный процесс.

Моё участие свелось к нажатию клавиш компьютера, а осознание бесконечности и богатства проявлений энерго-информационного континиума позволяет говорить лишь о посредничестве… Так что, вопрос авторства отпадает сам собой.

Пусть эта арт-информация будет небольшим вкладом в дело объединения людей света, и служит раскрытию нашего светоносного потенциала!

Да пребудет благо для всех живых существ !

Keerych
 
Published in Art
This is a special area of top secret information from the Past, Present and Future of Goa Freaks World.
Today we will make a deep dive into the mystic World of Shamanism.
 
 
SHAMANISM AS WE SEE IT ..
When we reach for a good solid model for the function of psychedelics within a larger culture, we immediately face the shaman. The shaman is a very romanticized image, very "overwritten" as the academics like to say, meaning that the term now means many different things, including scores of things totally outside of its original ethnographic context. I’m not going to go into any specifics about particular shamanic cultures, but we would like to draw sort of a general picture that relates to the question about contemporary psychedelic culture.

One thing you can say about the shaman or witch is that she lives on the edge of cultural maps. The shaman acts as a kind of interface between the specific culture of a particular tribal group and the world outside, a world that we can think of not only as nature, of course, but as the cosmic, the abstract, and the alien. The witch lives at the edge of the village; in her zone, we start to move into the wild. And that’s a very potent image for being a transfer point between the outside and the inside of human culture. One of the interesting paradoxes of shamanism is that, on the one hand, it is very technological, very savvy, and full of knowledge in almost a modern sense of the term, like scientific knowledge. And yet the worlds that are being produced, sustained, and performed by the shaman are extremely cultural, spiritual, and mythological. Look at a healing ceremony, and think about what exactly is happening there. Let’s say that healing is occurring through the use of quartz crystals being pulled out of the body. What’s happening there? What’s really going on?

One way of looking at it is to say that the shaman is playing a two-fold game. On the one hand, he knows perfectly well what he’s actually doing, that he’s pirated a little quartz crystal in his palm, that he’s using very specific plants which have very specific properties which can produce effects, both specifically related to health and to more general psychoactive goals as well. There’s a tremendous amount of knowledge there. And yet, what does the shaman do in the actual situation of the healing? He performs. And what he performs is a whole cultural web, the glue that embeds those knowledge in lived human life. Our doctors do that too, but the package is pretty one dimensional – "take this pill; it’ll work out for you." Their knowledge is kept on the inside. What the sick person perceives is a cultural story, a cosmic metaphor, an image of the illness being removed from the body. So it’s not that the shaman is a manipulative trickster just playing games with quartz crystals. It’s that the shaman understands the technology of packaging knowledge within the cultural matrix of transformation, and performs this packaged knowledge as if it were one thing, one process of body and mind. Even a skeptic must recognize that the placebo effect plays a tremendous role in healing of all sorts, and that the art of producing the placebo effect is incredibly valuable.

Within this performance, the shaman plays a liminal role, mediating between knowledge and performance the way he mediates between outside and inside. Liminality is an anthropological concept that describes, again, a place on the edge of cultural maps, a zone between the wild and the culture, between hot and cold, between different villages. In the ancient world, crossroads were places of tremendous liminal power. People from different villages, different cultures would encounter each other there. So there’s a whole mythology of trickster figures – Hermes, Coyote, Legba, often associated with communication – who model this relationship between inside and out. The concept of Liminality is crucial to understand what function and what role psychedelics play in the larger culture.

Today, many people attempting to create models for modern psychedelic use have looked to the image of shaman healer.
Of course we should be wary of abusing this poor old character for our own purposes. There’s also one very important distinction between the world view of the traditional shaman healer and what we are faced with, which is that we do not have a coherent, contained world view.
We no longer have a specific cultural story that can be performed in that mythological sense. We’re at this very strange juncture in history when cultures are smashing together and flattening out. We have globalization, we have fragmentation, and it’s a very open-ended situation. If there is a central error in the shamanic interpretation of modern psychedelic culture, it lies in a romantic nostalgia that wants to reconstruct or re-embody some fully coherent mythological world view.
We don’t want to say that in a way that undercuts the power of traditional myths, not to mention traditional practices and knowledge.
 
Moreover, modern psychedelic culture has largely been defined by a relationship to non-European knowledge and cultures, and the reception of those stories and practices from the world over inform the evolving picture or cultural story about what psychedelic people are trying to do in the world. But we think that we often find a misplaced desire or tendency to want that story to be fully complete and realized, so that we then know that what we’re doing is engaging the mind of the planet, or that nature herself is telling us something.
 
Those are valuable perceptions, but their attempt to escape the Western model can sometimes be Western transcendence – not to mention Western consumerism --- in new disguise. We think it’s very important to recognize that, at the moment, we are still intimately embedded in this tremendous, bizarre, horrible and fascinating process of technological modernity. We can see its horrible claws, its profound lacks, and there’s a desire to overcome these things quickly and fully, to chuck that framework and enter into a different kind of re-enchanted world. The desire to re-enchant our experience of the world is a profound thing that we’re all feeling. It’s incredibly legitimate. And yet, we think that the way in which we move forward with that is not by reconstructing a kind of mythological world view in the name of ancient wisdom. The psychedelic eye sees that things are already enchanted, just the way they are, fragmented and integral at once. In this sense, it is important to see psychedelic culture not as a resistance to modernity, but its own fractal edge.

 

Sunday, 21 July 2013 07:50

Visionary Art: essay by Alex Grey

What Is Visionary Art? essay by Alex Grey
 The artist's mission is to make the soul perceptible. Our scientific, materialist culture trains us to develop the eyes of outer perception. Visionary art encourages the development of our inner sight. To find the visionary realm, we use the intuitive inner eye:  The eye of contemplation; the eye of the soul. All the inspiring ideas we have as artists originate here.
 
The visionary realm embraces the entire spectrum of imaginal spaces – from heaven to hell, from the infinitude of forms to formless voids. The psychologist James Hillman calls it the imaginal realm. Poet William Blake called it the divine imagination. The aborigines call it the dreamtime; and Sufis call it alam al-mithal. To Plato, this was the realm of the ideal archetypes. The Tibetans call it the sambhogakaya – the dimension of inner richness. Theosophists refer to the astral, mental, and nirvanic planes of consciousness. Carl Jung knew this realm as the collective symbolic unconscious. Whatever we choose to call it, the visionary realm is the space we visit during dreams and altered or heightened states of consciousness.

 Every sacred art tradition begins with the visionary. "Divine canons of proportion," mystic syllables, and sacred writing were all realized when the early wisdom masters and artists received the original archetypes through visionary contact with the divine ground. After a sacred archetype has been given form as a work of art, it can act as a focal point of devotional energy. The artwork becomes a way for viewers to access or worship the associated transcendental domain. In sacred art, from calligraphy to icons, the work itself is a medium: a point of contact between the spiritual and material realms.

The Role of Art
Our inner world – the life of our imagination with its intense feelings, fears, and loves – guides our intentions and actions in the world. Our inner world is the only true source of meaning and purpose we have. Art is the song of this inner life. Art’s key role in the human drama is that of a "great convincer." The artist posits one myth, religion, or ideology over another, yet also always expresses the raw passion and evolutionary force of the inner world itself.

The artist attempts to make inner truths visible, audible, or sensible in some way, by manifesting them in the external, material world (through drawing, painting, song, etc.). To produce their finest works, artists lose themselves in the flow of creation from their inner worlds. The visionary artist creatively expresses her or his personal glimpses of the Divine Imagination.

Every work of art embodies the vision of its creator and simultaneously reveals a facet of the collective mind. Art history shows each successive wave of vision flowing through the world's artists. Artists offer the world the pain and beauty of their souls as a gift to open the eyes of the collective and heal it. Our exposure to technological innovations and diverse forms of sacred art gives artists at the dawn of the twenty-first century a unique opportunity to create more integrative and universal spiritual art than ever before.

The Visionary Tradition
A complete historical account of the global visionary art tradition would fill volumes. The sixteen thousand-year-old cave paintings of human/animal hybrids, such as the Sorcerer of Trois Freres, are a good starting point. Much ancient shamanic art, such as African ritual masks and aboriginal rock and bark paintings, clearly depict visionary dreamtime wanderings and encounters in the lower and upper worlds. A visionary art history lesson would include representations of mythic deities and demons: the Mayan feathered serpent; Egyptian and Greek sphinxes; and Indian, Balinese, and Thai portrayals of many-limbed, many-headed beings housed in complex mandalas.

One of the earliest known Western mystic visionary artists was Hildegard of Bingen, a twelfth-century German abbess. While enveloped by a fiery inner light, she was told to "speak and write not according to human speech or human inventiveness, but to the extent that you see and hear those things in the heavens above in the marvelousness of God." The icons created from her visions are direct and authentic gifts of spirit.

Perhaps the most famous visionary artist was the fifteenth-century painter Hieronymous Bosch, who portrayed an extraordinary array of grotesque beings, tortured souls in hell, and angels guiding the saved to the light of heaven. His Garden of Delights is one of the strangest paintings in the world – an encyclopedia of metamorphic plant/animal/human symbolism. Pieter Bruegel was touched with the same visionary madness when he created Fall of the Rebel Angels and Triumph of Death – an amazing landscape featuring a coffin go-kart and armies of skeletons herding the struggling masses. Northern and Italian Renaissance artists like Grunewald, Durer, and Michelangelo delineated the revelations of Christian mysticism with searing, Gothic realism.

Our historical sketch of visionary art would have to include the seventeenth-century alchemical engravings of Johann Daniel Mylius and mystics like Jacob Boehme and Robert Fludd, who detailed complex mandalic philosophical maps pointing to union with the divine.

William Blake, the nineteenth-century mystic artist and poet, conversed with angels and received painting instructions from discarnate entities. Blake published his own books of art and poetry, which revealed an idiosyncratic mysticism arising from his inner perception of religious subjects. He resisted conventional religious dogma, proclaiming that "all religions are one." The characters in Blake's paintings and engravings seem akin to those of Renaissance masters Michelangelo, Raphael, and Durer – yet are softened with a peculiar magic. His artwork exalts an ideal realm of inspiration that he termed the "divine imagination." Blake's work laid the foundations for the nineteenth-century Symbolist movement that included such artists as Gustav Moreau, Odilon Redon, Jean Delville, and Frantisek Kupka.

The realm of visionary art also embraces Modernist Abstraction like the works of Kupka, Klee, and Kandinsky; Surrealist or Fantastic Realist art; and Idealist work like Blake's. The twentieth-century Surrealists operated in a territory without clear moral order: a dreamship adrift on the ocean of the unconscious. Artists like Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Hans Arp, Hans Bellmer, Stanislav Szukalski, Juan Miro, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, and Frida Kahlo mixed images from childhood memories, adult desires and fears, sex and violence – wherever the creative currents led them. The visions of the Surrealists help to define a dream realm where any bizarre juxtaposition is possible. A profound truth resides in such strangeness, for these visions can shock us into deepening our acknowledgement and appreciation of the Great Mystery.

The Russian painter Pavel Tchelitchew was one of the great visionary artists of the twentieth century (his obsession with anatomy and mysticism relates to my own work). Tchelitchew's paintings evolved through metamorphic symbolism to x-ray anatomical figures glowing with inner light, and eventually progressed to luminous, abstract networks.

Perhaps the most widely respected visionary painter of the twentieth century is Ernst Fuchs, whose highly detailed and symbolic works are often based on biblical and mythological subjects. Fuchs combines the technical mastery of Durer and Van Eyck with the imagination of Bosch and Blake in a completely personal fantastic realism. Fuchs has had a widespread and profound influence on many of the greatest contemporary visionary artists. The masterful Mati Klarwein, Robert Venosa, De Es Schwertberger, Olga Spiegel, Philip Rubinov-Jacobson, and many others count him a key teacher or inspirational force.

The post-World War II Vienna school of Fantastic Realism included artist friends of Ernst Fuchs, like Arik Brauer, Anton Lehmdon, Wolfgang Hutter, and Rudolph Hausner. In 1940s America, the artists Ivan Albright, George Tooker, Paul Cadmus, Peter Blume, and Hyman Bloom were known as Magic Realist painters.

The psychedelic sixties spawned a new kind of poster art, leading many painters in a visionary direction. In the 1960s and 70s, a loosely associated group of California visionary paintersJoseph Parker, Cliff McReynolds, Clayton Anderson, Gage Taylor, Nick Hyde, Thomas Akawie, Bill Martin, and Sheila Rose – were published by Pomegranate Art Books. Pomegranate has also featured the shamanically inspired work of Susan Seddon Boulet. A more visually aggressive psychedelic pop surrealism energizes the work of Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and Robert Williams.

Paul Laffoley, a painter and architect, is one of the most encyclopedic of visionary geniuses. Dystopic visions of contemporary hell worlds are stunningly portrayed in the paintings of Joe Coleman, H.R. Giger, Manuel Ocampo, and Odd Nerdrum. Visionary abstraction is articulated in beautiful infinities in the works of Allyson Grey, Bernie Maisner, and Suzanne Williams.

Some of the most promising new visionary painting is by A. Andrew Gonzalez, Erial, and Guy Aichison. The archetypal mindscapes of Francesco Clemente and Ann McCoy enjoy the rare distinction of visibility and success in the contemporary art marketplace. The word "visionary" has also come to be associated with "outsider, naive, insane, and self-taught" artists, who include Adolph Wolfli, Reverend Finster, and Minnie Evans.

What unites these various groups of artists is the driving force and source of their art: their unconventionally intense imaginations. Their gift to the world is to reveal "in minute particulars," as Blake would say, the full spectrum of the vast visionary dimensions of the mind.
 
Published in NEWS Archives
Sunday, 21 July 2013 06:42

Visionary Artist: Romio Shrestha

Romio Bahadur Shrestha

Romio Bahadur Shrestha was born into a Newar family in Katmandu in Nepal. When he was five years old, two Tibetan Buddhist monks arrived at the door. They said that Romio was the seventeenth reincarnation of the master Tibetan T’angka painter Arniko and they gave to him a stock of valuable art materials, explaining that he would, one day, form his own school of painting.

Romio Shrestha is a modern master of the Indo-Nepali-Tibetan Buddhist traditions of enlightenment art. Romio Shrestha’s T’angka’s can be found in many of the great collections of the world including the British Museum, The Victoria Albert Museum, The Buchheim Museum, American Museum of Natural History New York, Newark Museum New Jersey, National Museum Moscow, The Chester Beatty Library Dublin, The Voelkerkunde Museum Zurich as well as many private collections around the globe.

Preserving and innovating the ancient wisdom and traditional craftsmanship, Romio founded a school in Nepal in 1968 and now into the 21st century he continues to bring the world of T’angka on into the future.

Published in NEWS Archives
Sunday, 21 July 2013 05:20

Visionary Artist: Alex Grey

Alex Grey: Cosmic Vision
Alex Grey was born in Columbus, Ohio on November 29, 1953 (Sagittarius), the middle child of a gentle middle-class couple. His father was a graphic designer and encouraged his son’s drawing ability. Young Alex would collect insects and dead animals from the suburban neighborhood and bury them in the back yard. The themes of death and transcendence weave throughout his artworks, from the earliest drawings to later performances, paintings and sculpture. Alex went to the Columbus College of Art and Design on full scholarship from 1971-3. Grey dropped out of art school and painted billboards for Columbus Outdoor Advertising, 1973-4. Grey then moved to Boston to study with and work as studio assistant for conceptual artist, Jay Jaroslav, at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1974-5.
At the Museum School, Alex met his life-long partner, the artist, Allyson Rymland Grey. At their meeting in 1975, an entheogenically induced mystical experience transformed his agnostic existentialism to a radical transcendentalism. The Grey couple continued to take “sacramental journeys” on LSD. For five years, Alex worked in the Anatomy department at Harvard Medical School preparing cadavers for dissection while he studied the body on his own. He later worked for Dr. Herbert Benson and Dr. Joan Borysenko as a research technologist at Harvard’s department of Mind/Body Medicine, conducting scientific experiments to investigate subtle healing energies. Alex’s anatomical training prepared him for painting the Sacred Mirrors (see below) and for working as a medical illustrator. Doctors at Harvard saw images of his Sacred Mirrors, and hired Alex for illustration work.

Grey instructed Artistic Anatomy and Figure Sculpture for ten years at New York University, and has taught the Visionary Art Intensive and other art workshops with Allyson at The New York Open Center, Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, the California Institute of Integral Studies and Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. The couple now teach MAGI workshops (Mystic Artists Guild International) at CoSM in Wappinger, New York.

In 1972 Grey began a series of art actions that bear resemblance to rites of passage, in that they present stages of a developing psyche. The approximately fifty performance rites, conducted over the last thirty years move through transformations from an egocentric to more sociocentric and increasingly worldcentric and theocentric identity. In a major performance entitled WorldSpirit, spoken word poetry in musical collaboration with Kenji Williams was released in 2004 as a DVD.

Grey’s unique series of 21 life-sized paintings, the Sacred Mirrors, take the viewer on a journey toward their own divine nature by examining, in detail, the body, mind, and spirit. The Sacred Mirrors, present the physical and subtle anatomy of an individual in the context of cosmic, biological and technological evolution. Begun in 1979, the series took a period of ten years to complete. It was during this period that Alex developed depictions of the human body that “x-ray” the multiple layers of reality, and reveal the interplay of anatomical and spiritual forces. After painting the Sacred Mirrors, he applied this multidimensional perspective to such archetypal human experiences as praying, meditation, kissing, copulating, pregnancy, birth, nursing and dying. Grey’s recent work explores the subject of consciousness from the perspective of “universal beings” whose bodies are grids of fire, eyes and infinite galactic swirls.

Renowned healers Olga Worral and Rosalyn Bruyere express appreciation for the skillful portrayal of clairvoyant vision his paintings of translucent glowing bodies. Countless teachers and spiritual leaders, including Deepak Choprah, incorporate Alex’s art in their power point presentations. Grey’s paintings have been featured in venues as diverse as the album art of TOOL, SCI, the Beastie Boys and Nirvana, Time and Newsweek magazines, the Discovery Channel, rave flyers and sheets of blotter acid. Exhibited worldwide, Alex’s art has been honored with solo exhibitions at Feature Inc., Tibet House, Stux Gallery, P.S. 1, The NYC Outsider Art Fair, The New Museum in NYC, the Grand Palais in Paris, the Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil. Alex’s art has been featured in several year long exhibitions at the American Visionary Art Museum including a room installation he created with Allyson entitled “Heart Net” (1998-99). A mid-career retrospective of Grey’s works at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego in 1999. A keynote speaker at conferences all over the world including Tokyo, Amsterdam, Basel, Barcelona and Manaus, the international psychedelic community has embraced Grey as an important mapmaker and spokesman for the visionary realm.

 

For 2011 an 2012, the Watkins Review named Alex Grey one of the top twenty spiritual leaders alive today, in the company of such towering luminaries as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Eckhardt Tolle, and Oprah Winfrey. The Temple of Understanding awarded and sighted both the Grey’s as two of the world’s top fifty Interfaith leaders.
Grey’s first monograph, the large format art book entitled, Sacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey, has been translated into five languages with well over one hundred thousand copies. His inspirational book, The Mission of Art, traces the evolution of human consciousness through art history, exploring the role of an artist’s intention and conscience, and reflecting on the creative process as a spiritual path.

Transfigurations, Alex’s second monograph, contains over 300 color and black & white plates of his artwork. The Visionary Artist, a CD of Grey’s reflections published by Sounds True, leads the listener on a journey of art as a spiritual practice. The video, ARTmind incorporates Alex’s images in an exploration of the healing potential of Sacred Art. Grey co-edited the book, Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (Chronicle Books, 2002). In 2004, the VISIONS boxed set contains both earlier monographs of Grey’s artwork plus a portfolio of new works.

Alex Grey’s upcoming book Net of Being, to be released in late November 2012, shows how Alex’s visionary art is evolving the cultural body through icons of interconnectedness. Grey’s latest monograph includes over 200 reproductions of Grey’s artwork, contains spectacular photos of Grey’s collaboration with the cult band TOOL plus his worldwide live-painting performances, and offers Grey’s reflections on how art evolves consciousness with a new symbology of the “networked self.” Alex’s painting “Net of Being”—inspired by a blazing vision of an infinite grid of Godheads during an ayahuasca journey—has reached millions as the stage set and the cover and interior of the band TOOL’s Grammy award–winning triple-platinum album,10,000 Days. Net of Being is one of many images Grey has created that have resulted in a chain reaction of uses—from apparel and jewelry to tattoos and music videos—embedding these iconic works into our culture’s living Net of Being.

A five-year installation of Grey’s best loved artworks were exhibited at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM, in New York City from 2004-9. Alex and Allyson have collaborated on performance art, live-painting on stage throughout the world, and the “social sculpture” called CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, that the Grey’s cofounded in 1996. The Grey’s live at CoSM in Wappinger, New York and in Brooklyn since 1984. Their daughter, Zena Grey, born in 1988, is an accomplished actress and artist living in Los Angeles
Published in NEWS Archives
Saturday, 20 July 2013 17:05

Visionary Artist: Pablo Amaringo

Ayahuasca Vision by Pablo Amaringo:
This interview is about Pablo Amaringo and his beautiful art that were inspired through Ayahuasca. Howard G. Charing gives us insight on his life and paintings in this interview in a unique perspective that only he could provide. As well as detailed descriptions of the ceremonies and experiences revolving around Ayahuasca. This interview is a walk between worlds and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have. Presenting.
 

1. Could you please tell us how you got involved with Pablo and the creation of this wonderful book The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo?

HC: My colleague and co-author Peter Cloudsley and I had known Pablo for many years, and it was always a special thrill to visit Pablo at his home in Pucallpa and look in wonder at his beautiful work. We did some ad-hoc interviews with him which were published, and we made notes about his about his paintings but the actual inspiration to work with Pablo on a major project such as this book came out of the blue - it came suddenly during an Ayahuasca ceremony at Mishana in the Peruvian Amazon. My visions that night were of the vivid creations, motifs, and forms of Pablo’s paintings. The ceremony culminated in what I can only describe as a lightning flash and a powerful message from the Ayahuasca to work with Pablo on a book of his new paintings. The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo

The following day, I discussed the idea with Peter—he and I had worked together, since the 1990s, organizing ayahuasca and plant diet retreats in the Amazon, and we decided to visit Pablo in Pucallpa at the earliest opportunity, which was in February 2007, to discuss the idea of doing a book with him. When we told him about the idea, Pablo’s face immediately lit up with enthusiasm and there and then, we agreed to collaborate on this book.

All in all, this was a complex project. We formed a detailed plan, the first step of which was to catalogue and have all of Pablo’s available paintings and sketches professionally photographed and later digitally scanned. Pablo gave us hundreds of pages of his notes and journals, which he had kept in his house. We had many meetings with Pablo to discuss and explore the multifaceted qualities of his paintings. Each session generated new questions, which necessitated further trips to Pucallpa before we were in a position to complete the narratives that accompany the paintings themselves.

2. With written contributions by Graham Hancock, Jeremy Narby, Robert Venosa, Dennis McKenna, Stephan Beyer, and Jan Kounen. Would you tell us about some of the content added by these fellow journeymen and women and the central theme they outline about Pablo's life and vision?

HC: We were really delighted and honoured by their contribution to the book. Each of them had a different perspective about the importance and influence of Pablo’s work, as well as some personal anecdotes. When we approached them to write a contribution, they were all happy to do this despite their busy work schedules. Dennis McKenna’s contribution covered his early encounters in the 1980’s with Pablo that ultimately led to Pablo’s book ‘Ayahuasca Visions – The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman’ in collaboration with Eduardo Luna. That book had an enormous impact when it was published in 1991. Pablo’s stunning visual portrayal of the magical domain of Ayahuasca generated a huge interest in the hitherto little known mythological, spiritual, and shamanic world of the Amazon. It opened this mysterious world to the West, and it had an incredible influence both from an ‘art’ and an anthropological perspective. Talking about Pablo’s art depicting the amazingly rich mythological texture and content of the Amazonian peoples, reminds me that some years back I was on a bus in Iquitos with a group of young missionaries wearing their uniform white shirts and ties and I started to talk to them about what they were doing and so on, and one of them replied ‘We are here to teach the local people beliefs as they don’t have any’. It was an arrogant and ignorant statement bordering on the ludicrous, but clearly they were not acquainted with Pablo’s work, as if they had maybe they would have to adjust their view.

The interest generated by this book also paved the way for the founding of Pablo’s school for art ‘Usko Ayar’ that created a distinct style that we know as Neo-Amazonian Art, reaching a global audience and into the commercial art market through international exhibitions.

Both Graham Hancock and Jeremy Narby included paintings and illustrations by Pablo in their respective books ‘Supernatural’, and ‘The Cosmic Serpent’. Both of these books introduced novel concepts and in my view are in the vanguard of the literature on evolving human consciousness. Pablo’s work was a tremendous inspiration to them both. It was great to have the late Robert Venosa’s contribution to the book. Robert was one of the most celebrated visionary artists in the world, and he offered a wonderful contribution and view point from an artist’s perspective. Jan Kounen’s cinematic work in Blueberry aka Renegade was inspired to a great extent by Pablo’s art. Anybody who has seen the visual effects in that movie (and has drunk Ayahuasca) will understand what I’m talking about. Steve Beyer’s blog ‘Singing to the Plants’ and the subsequent book of the same name has to be one of the most detailed, well researched and authoritative works on Amazonian Shamanism. Also I found Steve’s work to be an important reference source whilst writing the book. Steve wrote an informative and insightful piece for the book which was wonderful.

3. What else can you tell us about Pablo Amaringo's life and his spiritual perspective and was he what you would consider a shaman?

HC: Pablo had an extraordinary life, and in the book Peter worked extensively with Pablo in documenting some of his amazing stories and experiences. Pablo was so incredibly talented as an artist that he could paint freehand an exact replica of a banknote. That particular skill actually led him into certain problems with the authorities as you can imagine, and many of these stories are included in the book. So I’ll focus more on Pablo’s spiritual perspective. The first thing that comes to mind is his eclectic knowledge of so many mystical traditions, and a vast wisdom. Pablo defined knowledge in two categories, firstly gnosis (knowledge), and epignosis (above knowledge). He would illustrate this by an example – you can read all the research papers, and literature about Ayahuasca, understand its chemical composition and so on, this is gnosis; but only when you drink Ayahuasca is there the possibility of realisation of this knowledge, or epignosis. Love for him was an example of epignosis.

One of the most gratifying aspects of working with Pablo on the book was that many of the narratives contained not only descriptions, mythological insights of the paintings etc but also an explicit spiritual teaching. He was a practising shaman of a senior grade until the mid 1970’s when he retired due to the sorcery from angry brujos attacking him for healing the people they were harming! I know sorcery is a difficult notion for Westerners to comprehend, but it is real and effective, and in fact is a part of the fabric of life in the Amazon. In his paintings and accompanying narratives in the book Pablo shines light on these practices.

4. Describe his art for his and some of the themes he embraced he literally through Ayahuasca was getting a glimpse of the otherside and sharing it with us on canvas right?

HC: Pablo was drinking Ayahuasca for many years, and he had perfect recall of his visions, which he painted in meticulous detail. His work is characterised by botanically accurate (and identifiable) depictions of plants and the elements of his visions, the spirit beings, sub-aquatic and subterranean realms, celestial palaces, animals and birds of the rainforest, extra-terrestrial vessels, angels, and the Ayahuasca ceremony often with the shaman engaged in healing their patients. Paintings such as ‘Barco Fantasma’ are a perfect representation of the magical reality present in the Amazonian world.

There are a multitude of themes, for example there was a powerful ecological theme present throughout his work. He said that nature provided all the medicines that we need, and that the destruction of the rainforest would be totally detrimental to humanity. An important part of this is the descriptions of the plants, their medicinal, their ritual and shamanic usage. The ecological theme also included the natural cycles of rain, fertility of plants and the inter-relationship of animals, plants, and humans in a finely tuned balance, sometimes this was expressed allegorically or in mythological terms.

Also the substance of creation, of matter itself, in effect Pablo was describing the Higgs-Boson particles, although he called them espirtones. His work reveals a cosmos constituted of varying densities of vibration from the Earth to the highest celestial realms. In essence Pablo described through his art a vast cosmic plan, in this cosmic vision life exists throughout the universe, there are universes nested within universes and an incalculable number of smaller worlds like the Earth. For Pablo the Supreme Being or God is a term for the totality of the dynamic energy that has always existed, and always will, it is eternal. Pablo was able to access this cosmic vision through drinking Ayahuasca, and this was what he was ultimately embodying through his art.

5. Please tell us about Ayahuasca and its history and the rituals surrounding it and its purpose in your perspective. I have never done it but would love to. I live in Florida in the United States and they still think Marijuana is crack here or something amidst their madness and ignorance. So I am not sure if I will ever have the chance to do it. But I would. Smile.

HC: Ayahuasca is made from the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis Caapi) and the leaf of the Chacruna plant (Psychotria Viridis). The combination (by brewing for hours) of these two plants produces a potent medicine that has the potential to heal our deepest emotional wounds. We can fully relive our painful life experiences and release or purge (a gentler term than vomiting) them from our body and psyche, and in a sense be purified. So essentially I would say that ayahuasca is a medicine that works through our physical and spiritual bodies. Of course having said that, ayahuasca is much more than a medicine, it is an encounter with an ‘other’ and greater consciousness, and has the potential to open a gateway to other realities that co-exist with our physical reality where one can experience the unity, totality, and the sublime nature of creation. It is a formidable and awe-inspiring experience and I need to add the caveat that due to its potency is not suitable for everybody. It is important to follow the rules for example avoiding certain foods, sexual activity, and libidinous thoughts, and to drink in a ceremony with a capable and trusted shaman without any shred of doubt. Historically there is evidence that ayahuasca has been a central part of the spiritual and cultural life of the Amazonian peoples for many hundreds of years. In fact the oldest known object related to ayahuasca is a ceremonial cup hewn from stone found in the Ecuadorian Amazon dated 500 BC to 50 AD. It is in the collection of the Ethnological Museum of the Central University in Quito. This indicates that ayahuasca potions were known and used at least 2,000 years ago.

The origins of this brew are only in legend, but you still have to consider how the indigenous peoples discovered how to prepare the ayahuasca brew by the combination of just two distinct plants (amongst the many thousands of plants in the rainforest). It is a mystery how they knew this, the vine acts as an inhibitor preventing the body enzymes from neutralising the alkaloids present in the chacruna leaves, this chemistry is identical to the MAOI effect that was discovered by Western science in the 1950’s, kind of makes you think.....

6. Experiences with Amazonian people and folklore are shared through out the book. Can you tell us about their life and spiritual belief system?

HC: As I mentioned earlier, there is a rich textural mythological fabric, in the same way that we in the West have. Our fairy tales are a faint echo of a whisper of this, we have stories of enchanting perfumes, of magical flowers and beanstalks; animals that talk with humans such as Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Bears and so on. If you look under the ‘hood’ of many of our fairy tales there is a body of knowledge about powerful plants that can transport you to another dimension, even if the form has been attenuated and domesticated for consumption. The difference is that in the Amazon these legends have not been domesticated, and seen only as a fantasy. I know shamans who swear that they have encountered magical creatures such as the chullachaqui (the enigmatic hairy jungle dwarf) or the pucabufeo (Amazonian Pink dolphin) taking human form, these magical creatures are depicted by Pablo in the book, and in one of the most fascinating anecdotes by Pablo described in the book, is his encounter with the yacuruna when he was a boy of seven years old (the yacuruna are primordial beings that inhabit the sub-aquatic realms). Also Pablo talks about the awesome exploits of his grandfather and great-uncle both powerful paleros (a specialised and powerful shaman who primarily works with hardwood trees, the resins, the roots, and the barks). These are stories that are described as real, Pablo said about the encounter with the yacuruna, ‘I saw this with my own eyes’.

Many of Pablo’s paintings described the traditions, beliefs and way of life of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. One painting in particular ‘Auca Yachai’ conveys the diverse knowledge of plants, their medicinal properties, and value as a food resource. There is a huge volume of information, ranging from the use of the fibre of the plant tamshi to clean their teeth and prevent decay, plants to heal wounds, and customs surrounding death and burial rites. In fact when I was working on the narrative of this painting, there was so much material I realised that I could write a book just about this painting.

7. Pablo Amaringo was a healer since the age of 10 and a curandero. What is a curandero and what else do we know about Pablo's childhood?

HC: Curandero means healer which is the main role of a shaman. Nomenclature is complex in these respects; the term “shaman,” or in Peru chaman, is a recent Western import into the Amazon in the past thirty years. In the Amazonian tradition there are many specializations and categories. The traditional generic term would be vegetalista, which denotes they have received their power from the plant kingdom. There are many sub-specialisations of the vegetalista, for example: Palero – a curandero who works with the bark, roots, and resins of trees; Perfumero - specialist in the perfumes of plants and flowers; Ayahuasquero – a Specialist in ayahuasca; Chontero – a curandero who works with chonta (magical darts). And there are many more categories of a curandero / shaman.

In the book we have documented Pablo’s life story in detail - a fascinating story and we included many early photos of him. It is clear that Pablo always had close connection to spirit and experienced life as magical. Conventional religion per se never had meaning for him; he could access the soul of the world directly through nature where he came to understand that there was a divine creative consciousness that permeated and held the world in place. Many of his paintings illustrate this theme. Pablo drank ayahuasca for the first time when he was ten with his grandfather. His first vision was of mermaids in the water under a renaco tree, he still painted this vision well into his later years.

8. Please tell us about the art shared in the book of Pablo's illustrations and how many and what else we can see represented there of his creations?

HC: In the book we have forty eight colour plates of Pablo’s work that richly illustrate the mythological, mystical, and spiritual world of the Amazon. His paintings have evolved in texture and detail since his earlier work as per his first book. In the new book Pablo explains in his introduction that he felt much freer to express himself now and be open about his experiences, as before he was concerned about being misinterpreted and criticised for being heretical by the Catholic Church.

It’s important to mention that Pablo’s paintings are imbued with power and are far more than two-dimensional images, and are also intended for meditation and contemplation. Whilst he painted he would also chant his icaros, and he would say “If you concentrate and meditate on the paintings you will receive this spiritual energy”. Pablo discusses the purpose of his work in his introduction.

9. What can you tell us about you being the director of the Eagle’s Wing Centre for Contemporary Shamanism and what exactly this organization represents?

HC: That’s kind of an old chapter in my life; I worked closely with Leo Rutherford who established Eagle’s Wing in the 1980’s in the UK. He saw that the revival of interest in ancient and indigenous cultures reflected the movement started in the 1960’s towards self-development, an awakening spiritual awareness and a more communal way of living. The work of Eagle’s Wing is to introduce that knowledge and awareness to people as a way to heal ourselves and by extension the world so to speak, to quote the Dalai Lama ‘World Peace begins with Inner Peace’ which is absolutely valid. For the past 5 years I’ve been nomadic but have recently settled in the beautiful city of Brasov set in the Carpathian Mountains in the Transylvanian region of Romania. I continue to work holding shamanic workshops, individual healing sessions and gatherings here.

10. Would you tell us about Pablo's passing in death and his legacy before you depart and what else are you up to in the future and do you have any links you can share with us and any other parting words? Thank you.

HC: Peter and I were very aware and concerned about Pablo’s declining health, in 2008 he twice suffered acute dengue fever that seriously debilitated him, and in 2009 he became visibly frail. I knew deep down that he might not make it through to the publication of the book. I also think that he knew that too, as he said to me in March 2009 “I fear that I will go before I paint all that I have seen, but this is no problem...I will finish painting them the next time when I come back”. We knew that this book would be his testament as a visionary, sage, and artist. Pablo died in November 2009, I attended the wake and funeral in Pucallpa, it was a sad time, but also at the wake many people came together to speak about their memories of him, how he influenced them, graced their lives and to celebrate his work and life.

His legacy lives with his art, his visions, the Usko Ayar School, and the many young people that he has helped over the years. The school was not only about art, but also included spiritual and ecological teachings, the school was very important to Pablo to share his wisdom and knowledge with children and young people, to help them perceive the world through different eyes.
Pablo’s work has been on exhibition worldwide, the last major exhibition was at the ACA Galleries in New York in 2011. Peter and I have put together a website with has all the paintings featured in the book, as well as interviews, features, and photo galleries of Pablo through the years. You can also order high quality reproductions of Pablo’s paintings through the website :
www.ayahuascavisions.com
Published in NEWS Archives

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