Interpretation of Alex Grey’s “New Man, New Woman.”
Sculpture Project 2011
Materials: Covered computer wire, acrylic paint, paint brushes, Sculpey oven bake clay, craft wire, Styrofoam head, wooden craft spheres, super glue, LED galaxy light strand.
I chose to replicate this painting (“New Man, New Woman” by Alex Grey) into sculpture form because I am fascinated by Grey’s ability to capture the essence of anatomical physiology and spirituality through the colorful, enigmatic, transient nature of his work. My interests in anatomy, spirituality, cognition, and psychology correlate with the themes addressed in this painting. An emphasis on energy in this piece tempted me to experiment with a variety of materials to launch off the basic structures of the body and the challenge to incorporate these energies into a 3-dimensional representation became a decisive quest for appropriate placement of those materials. The “third eye,” objectively known as a symbol for consciousness, clairvoyance, precognition or enlightenment, is a concept I hope to transfer through with my representation of this piece and evoke some sort of cognizant emotion in its viewers.
Alex Grey (born November 29, 1953) is an American artist specializing in spiritual and psychedelic art (or visionary art) that is sometimes associated with the New Age movement. His body of work spans a variety of forms including performance art, process art, installation art, sculpture, visionary art, and painting. Grey is a member of the Integral Institute. He is also on the board of advisors for the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and is the Chair of Wisdom University’s Sacred Art Department. He and his wife Allyson Grey are the co-founders of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, a non-profit institution supporting Visionary Culture in New York City. He went to the Columbus College of Art and Design for two years, dropped out and painted billboards in Ohio for a year, attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for one year, then spent five years at Harvard Medical School working in the Anatomy department studying the body and preparing cadavers for dissection. He also worked 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 and for doing medical illustration. When doctors saw his Sacred Mirrors, they asked him to do illustration work. Grey was an instructor in Artistic Anatomy and Figure Sculpture for ten years at New York University, and now teaches courses in Visionary Art with wife, Allyson at The Open Center in New York City; Naropa University, in Boulder, Colorado; the California Institute of Integral Studies and the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. Grey’s paintings have been featured in venues as diverse as the album art of Tool, The String Cheese Incident, the Beastie Boys and Nirvana, Newsweek magazine, the Discovery Channel, Rave flyers and sheets of blotter acid. Grey’s unique series of 21 life-sized paintings, the Sacred Mirrors (on display at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in Wappingers Falls, NY), takes 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 he developed his 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 has explored the subject of consciousness from the perspective of “universal beings” whose bodies are grids of fire, eyes and infinite galactic swirls.