Visionary Art is…

Visionary Art

Net of Being By Alex Grey

Net of Being By Alex Grey
http://www.alexgrey.com

 

Visionary art is an artistic style which pays homage to the mystical experience and the transcendent spiritual wisdom of humanity.  The art emerges out of the artist’s inner journey into the realms of collective vision and their personal insights and experiences. The vision is then used as inspiration for the work of art and for self-realization. Once completed the art is an expression of the inner journey, a catalyst to trigger transformative experiences in the viewer. It is a form of prayer and surrendering to a mystical state of consciousness.  Robert Venosa put it simply by referred to his art as “the transcendental mirror”; the transcendent images reflect the transcendent aspects of the viewer and leave the residue of this visionary reality in the mind of the beholder.

The visionary artists are making a powerful statement about the value of the inner reality and the power of mystical experiences to transform and uplift the world. The visionary community sees the primary mystical experience as being the core of all spiritual traditions. As time progresses and cultures change new archetypes are created to express transcendent experience.  The new archetypes reflect the contemporary expedition into this other inner dimension of being through contemporary means. Visionary artists, like the ones featured in this blog, are making a statement about the positive and challenging aspects of visionary experiences and validating the reality of this internal experience. This artistic and visual validation of the transcendant is in agreement with new medical research showing the healing power of extra-ordinary states of consciousness especially with psilocybin or MDMA guided psychotherapy.

This visionary artwork is truly a product of an emerging spiritual movement based on direct experience; many of the symbols used to describe the indescribable mystical reality are often inspired by spiritual traditions of the whole Earth. The ability to experience global spiritual culture is a radical shift from 40 years ago, this phenomenon is shaping the way spiritualism is approached and is changing the dialogue about the fundamental nature of reality.

Essential Love by Anderson Debernardi

Essential Love by Anderson Debernardi

The core of spiritualism in visionary art is in the direct experience of the infinite reality, where all is one, space-time and self are transcended. This is in agreement with the teachings of Tantra, Buddhism, indigenous leaders, and parallels theories emerging from quantum physicists. Today many have created their own religions or spiritual path by drawing inspiration from ancient traditions. This spiritualism based on the inner journey is expressed in visionary art. The experience of creating the artwork is similar to prayer as it connects the artist to the inner consciousness and can evoke powerful non-ordinary states of consciousness in the viewer and or creator of the art.

The creative vision of this community goes far beyond the flat surface of the canvas. Interactive festivals like Burning Man, Boom Festival, Envision, symbiosis are intentional electronic music driven festivals; Desert Daze for psych rockers and other intentional gatherings are an outcropping of this new dynamic and creative arts community. These artists are looking to create installation art, video art, architecture, music, light shows, dance, festivals and other forms of expression. Short intentional gatherings create a visionary space and become a place in which personal transformation, spiritual journey, enthogenic inspired dance and performance can combine with a supportive community. Once the gathering is over they leave no physical trace all that remains are the images, memories and the art.

Albert Hoffman by Alex Grey www.alexgrey.com

Albert Hoffman by Alex Grey
http://www.alexgrey.com

To achieve these inspirational experiences of personal transformation and mystical revelry  a combination of means are utilized by visionary artists including art, dance, music, prayer, meditation, yoga, psychedelics and other ‘technologies of the scared’. These experiences are often evoked through an entheogenic state of mind, many people refer to entheogens as being psychedelic substances but truly, Entheogen is a term meaning god seeking or evoking the mystical reality. Therefore, a visionary work of art is created in an entheogenic state of mind wheather induced by consumation of plants and substances or through inner means.  The difference between ingesting a psychedelic substance and taking an entheogen is in the intention; if one is using an entheogen they are seeking unity and spiritual communion with the divine but if one is using a psychedelic they are simply consuming a substance without the intention of inner exploration.  Ironically, the casual psychedelic user will still often enter entheogenic states of consciousness especially when exposed to visionary or healing arts.

Burning man

Many people when viewing visionary art recognize the landscapes the artists are rendering for their own experiences, this suggesting that realms of this other dimension can be similar for people around the world and this similarity of world creative vision is called archetype and has been the subject of intense academic study. Visionary art validates a parallel dimension of being known in western psychology as the transpersonal, this is literally another world different from our material reality which is found by traveling inward. Visionary art suggest that this otherworld really exists because the artist can go there and render its archetypal image and others recognize and relate to the art. The art validates this reality and the artist produces data for the scientists and others exploring this other dimension of human consciousness.

Visionary arts is inseparable from the healing arts, prayer, meditation, yoga and shamanism; they all encourage the movement toward wholeness. All the world’s religions have utilized sacred arts to uplift and inspire the best parts of ourselves.  The Earth is rapidly transforming into a place which may not be habitable by humans because of our ignorance about the interconnection of all life. The religious and mystical experience reveals in heart shattering glory, the oneness of existence.  The great yogis and shaman of the world all affirm that we are all united on this earth and in the web of life. The recognition of this primal truth has powerful healing and transformative potential. Visionary art plays a powerful role exposing the public to a contemporary expression of this mystic interrelatedness through arts which mirror the transcendent.

Unicornio Dorado By Pablo Amaringo

Unicornio Dorado By Pablo Amaringo

Unicornio Dorado By Pablo Amaringo.  Featured in the book ‘The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo’ by Howard G Charing; Peter Cloudsley

Unicornio Dorado By Pablo Amaringo. Featured in the book ‘The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo’ by Howard G Charing; Peter Cloudsley

 

By: Transpersonal Spirit

 

Biblography:

Transpersonalspirit.wordpress.com

http://www.realitysandwich.com/slideshow/robert_venosa).

Grof, Stanislav. The Cosmic Game Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness. State University of New York Press. 1998.

http://beinart.org/info/essays/maura-holden-tsunami.php

http://lila.info/on-visionary-art-and-on-drawing/ Rob Percival 2010

http://www.lcaruana.com/webtext/shop.text/first.man.eng.text/first.man.eng.sample.pages.html

http://www.alexgrey.com

 

 

 

.

Nasir-Al-Mulk-mosque Sacred Architecture

 

Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque

 

Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji - Nasir al-mulk mosque

Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji – Nasir al-mulk mosque http://gravity.ir/

 

The interior space of Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque is amazing with visual patterns which seem to come from another dimension. In the Early morning the wall of stained glass illuminates the space with shifting otherworldly colors refracting against the patterned interior. This mosque is still used for worship today.

This mosque is wholly inspired by the spiritual dimension of existence. Its appearance is similar to many works of psychedelic and visionary art from around the world. The spiraling domes, textured fractal ornamentation, the geometric pattern becomes much like optic art which seems to trick the eye through overwhelming beauty and complexity.

Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji - Nasir al-Mulk ceiling

Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji – Nasir al-Mulk ceiling http://gravity.ir/

Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji - nasir-almulk-fisheye---Shiraz

Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji – nasir-almulk-fisheye—Shiraz http://gravity.ir/

In Early morning you can see colored lights coming inside mosque. The best time for visiting this place is in beginning of winter and about 8-9am. The light coming through the windows first leans to the left of the mosque and as the morning progresses moves to the right.

Located in Shiraz Iran it is known as the Pink Mosque some also call it the rainbow mosque. Its construction was begun in 1876 and completed in 1888 designed by Muhammad Hasan-e-Memer and Muhammas Reza Kashi Paz-e-Shirazi. It was built under the command of Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir Al Molk a lord of the Qajar Dynasty.

Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji - Nasir-Al-Mulk-mosque-little---ShirazMohammad Reza Domiri Ganji - Nasir-Al-Mulk-mosque-little---Shiraz

Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji – Nasir-Al-Mulk-mosque-little—Shiraz http://gravity.ir/

 

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque by Omid Jafarnezhad on 500px

 

amin adbedini

Iran, Shiraz, Masjed-e Nasir-al-Mulk (Nasir al-Mulk Mosque), Islamic Architecture

 

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, IranNasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran

More from the ceiling decoration

By: Transpersonal Spirit

Bibliography:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/15/nasir-al-mulk-pink-mosque_n_4959362.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasir_al-Mulk_Mosque

http://www.boredpanda.com/nasir-al-molk-pink-mosque-shiraz-iran/

http://gravity.ir/

http://gravity.ir/about-me/

Visionary Art

Visionary Art

Net of Being By Alex Grey

Net of Being By Alex Grey
http://www.alexgrey.com

Visionary art is an artistic style which pays homage to the mystical experience and the transcendent spiritual wisdom of humanity.  The art emerges out of the artist’s inner journey into the realms of collective vision and their personal insights and experiences. The vision is then used as inspiration for the work of art and for self-realization. Once completed the art is an expression of the inner journey, a catalyst to trigger transformative experiences in the viewer and a form of prayer and surrendering to a mystical state of consciousness.  Robert Venosa put it simply referring to his art as, “the transcendental mirror”; the transcendent images reflect the transcendent aspects of the viewer and leave the residue of this visionary reality in the mind of the beholder.

The visionary artists are making a powerful statement about the value of the inner reality and the power of mystical experiences to transform and uplift the world. The visionary community sees the primary mystical experience as being the core of all spiritual traditions and makes new archetypes for the transcendent experience through art.  The new archetypes reflect the contemporary expedition into this other inner dimension of being through contemporary means. Visionary artists, like the ones featured in this blog, are making a statement about the positive and challenging aspects of visionary experiences and validating the reality of this internal experience.

Essential Love by Anderson Debernardi

Essential Love by Anderson Debernardi

This visionary artwork is truly a product of an emerging spiritual movement based on direct experience; many of the symbols used to describe the indescribable mystical reality are often inspired by spiritual traditions of the whole Earth. The ability to experience global spiritual culture is a radical shift from 40 years ago, this phenomenon is shaping the way spiritualism is approached and is changing the dialogue about the fundamental nature of reality.

The core of spiritualism in visionary art is in the direct experience of the infinite reality, where all is one, space-time and self are transcended. This is in agreement with the teachings of Tantra, Buddhism, indigenous leaders, and parallels theories emerging from quantum physicists. Today many have created their own religions or spiritual path by drawing inspiration from ancient traditions. This spiritualism based on the inner journey is expressed in visionary art. The experience of creating the artwork is similar to prayer as it connects the artist to the inner consciousness and can evoke powerful non-ordinary states of consciousness in the viewer and or creator of the art.

Burning man

The creative vision of this community goes far beyond the flat surface of the canvas. Interactive festivals like Burning Man, Boom Festival, Envision and other intentional gatherings are an outcropping of this new dynamic and creative arts community. These artists are looking to create installation art, video art, architecture, music, light shows, dance, festivals and other forms of expression. Short intentional gatherings create a visionary space and become a place in which personal transformation, spiritual journey, enthogenic inspired dance and performance can combine with a supportive community. Once the gathering is over they leave no physical trace all that remains are the images, memories and the art.

To achieve these inspirational experiences of personal transformation and mystical revelry  a combination of means are utilized by visionary artists including art, dance, music, prayer, meditation, yoga, psychedelics and other ‘technologies of the scared’. These experiences are often evoked through an entheogenic state of mind; many people refer to entheogens as being psychedelic substances but truly, entheogen is a term meaning god with-in or evoking the mystical reality. The Council on Spiritual Practices defines entheogen as, “a psychoactive sacramental; a plant or chemical substance taken to occasion primary religious experience. Example: Peyote Cactus as used in the Native American Church.” The difference between ingesting a psychedelic substance and taking an entheogen is in the intention; if one is using an entheogen they are seeking unity and spiritual communion with the divine but if one is using a psychedelic they are simply consuming a substance without the intention of inner exploration.  Ironically, the casual psychedelic user will still often enter entheogenic states of consciousness especially when exposed to visionary or healing arts.

By: Alex Grey

St. Albert and the LSD Revolution
By: Alex Grey (www.alexgrey.com)

Many people when viewing visionary art recognize the landscapes the artists are rendering for their own experiences, this suggesting that realms of this other dimension can be similar for people around the world and this similarity of world creative vision is called archetype and has been the subject of intense academic study. Visionary art validates a parallel dimension of being known in western psychology as the transpersonal, this is literally another world different from our material reality which is found by traveling inward. Visionary art suggest that this otherworld really exists because the artist can go there and render its archetypal image and others recognize and relate to the art. The art validates this reality and the artist produces data for the scientists and others exploring this other dimension of human consciousness.

Visionary arts is inseparable from the healing arts, prayer, meditation, yoga and shamanism; they all encourage the movement toward wholeness. All the world’s religions have utilized sacred arts to uplift and inspire the best parts of ourselves.  The Earth is rapidly transforming into a place which may not be habitable by humans because of our ignorance about the interconnection of all life. The religious and mystical experience reveals in heart shattering glory, the oneness of existence.  The great yogis and shaman of the world all affirm that we are all united on this earth and in the web of life. The recognition of this primal truth has powerful healing and transformative potential. Visionary art plays a powerful role exposing the public to a contemporary expression of this mystic interrelatedness through arts which mirror the transcendent.

Pagoda Dorada By Pablo Amaringo  www.ayahuascavisions.com

Pagoda Dorada By Pablo Amaringo
http://www.ayahuascavisions.com

By: Transpersonal Spirit

Biblography:

Transpersonalspirit.wordpress.com

http://www.realitysandwich.com/slideshow/robert_venosa).

Grof, Stanislav. The Cosmic Game Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness. State University of New York Press. 1998.

http://beinart.org/info/essays/maura-holden-tsunami.php

http://lila.info/on-visionary-art-and-on-drawing/ Rob Percival 2010

http://www.lcaruana.com/webtext/shop.text/first.man.eng.text/first.man.eng.sample.pages.html

www.alexgrey.com

http://www.debernardivision.com (anderson debernardu’s website)

http://csp.org/practices/entheogens/entheogens.html (council on spiritual practices website)

http://www.ayahuascavisions.com (Pablo Amaringo’s website)

Visionary Artist: Laurence Caruana

Visionary Artist

Laurence Caruana

laurence caruana  the pearl

The Pearl By Laurence Caruana
http://www.lcaruana.com/

Laurence Caruana has had a strong impact on the contemporary visionary art movement as a writer, teacher and artist. He has written several books and online articles about visionary art including the Visionary Art Manifesto and The Visionary Revue. He teaches worldwide sharing the classical painting technique called mischtechnik as well as lecturing about visionary art and writing about emerging visionary artists and culture. Now after many years of work he is opening The Academy of Visionary Art in Vienna with the aid of several visionary artists including Ernst Fuchs, Kuba Ambrose, A. Andrew Gonzalez, David Heskin, Maura Holden, Amanda Sage and more. His impact as a teacher, writer and lecturer of visionary art has advanced the dialogue about visionary art in a dramatic way.

Laurence Caruana’s work focuses on dreams, myth, symbolism and what he terms the image language. He says the image language is the language from before the fall of Adam and Eve. We lived in a paradise heaven filled with amazing dream like images, he relates this image based time to childhood and believes the child lives more closely to this world of imagination language. Through art one can explore this image language which through art emerges and meets the material world.

Scarab Christ by Laurence Caruana  www.lcaruana.com

Scarab Christ by Laurence Caruana
http://www.lcaruana.com

When young he wanted to become an artist and attended the University of Toronto where he fell in love and explored a range of mediums including sculpture, theater, and painting. His desire to marry his college love was thwarted by her deteriorating mental illness which led to the creation of interesting work from Caruana focusing on psychological elements of human experience. Once completing his degree he left her and Toronto and traveled Europe developing his craft as a writer and recording the image language of his dreams.

Laurence Caruana has made many pieces of art inspired by women whom he has loved over the years and the profound effect each of these past lovers had had upon him. His paintings mix reality with his dreams which he translated into art.  This early period of his work is very much filled with heartbreak and understanding the nature of the women in his life and how they impacted his personal growth.  Each of these paintings based on these women is a mixture of art, myth and dreams both fantastic and real. Laurence Caruana emphasizes the power of dreams in his work more so than many visionary artists. His approach to dream is similar to the late psychologist Carl Jung in that he feels dreams reveal information about our inner reality from a material, spiritual and mythical perspective.

laurence caruana rape of e

The Rape of Europa By Laurence Caruana
http://www.lcaruana.com/

He came in contact with his wife, Ernst Fuchs and psychedelic experiences in his 30s all of which would become the most important inspirations in his life. He became an assistant to Ernst Fuchs and began learning painting from him through apprenticeship. His skill flourished and he developed the techniques of the master painters particularly mischtechnik. His meeting with Fuchs, his teacher and mentor, was preceded by years of dreams involving Fuchs which began after he had seen “Moses and the Burning Bush” painted by Ernst Fuchs.  Ultimately, Caruana learned to commune with the mythical world of imagination and the gods through visions and depict those visions through painting.  He used the paintings as doorways to a direct experience of the sacred. He learned to see the sacred in his life which was reflected in his dreams, madness, enthogenic visions and art. Ernst Fuchs was a guide leading Caruana to understand his own ability to see into the divine and to share those visions through painting using the classical mischtechnik as adapted by Ernst Fuchs.

Caruana wrote The Manifesto of Visionary Art and published it in The Visionary Revue and was invited to speak at conferences workshops and events. He has exhibited in Paris and abroad and discovered the eco village of Tori Superiore where he teaches the mischtechnik.  Finally his passion became his vocation and profession fulfilling his dream of becoming an artist.  Life itself is a gradual unfolding of the sacred.

laurence caruana the vine of the dead

The Vine of the Dead By Laurence Caruana
http://www.lcaruana.com

In Cauruna’s writing he details how visionary artists approach the viewing and creating of the visionary artwork. This includes dialogue about enthogenic experience, mystical art, painting technique and even a new way of viewing art he calls entering through the image as well as history of visionary art. Mystical art is the foundation of the visionary art movement monumental works of the ancients dedicated to the divine reality. In modern times many people are gaining access to the mystical experience through the use of mind altering plants known as psychedelics or entheogens. The entheogen is the use of psychedelics for the purpose of mystical and spiritual development. The mystical experiences are then integrated into an artistic representation to share those visions with the world.

This idea of entering through the image is significant because most visionary artists have a unique way of seeing the image. They will stare at one point and distort their vision so the colors merge, blend and animate. For Laurence Caruana he covers one eye to get this effect.  For me personally, I bring my eyes into a soft focus and stare at one point after a few moments the surface comes alive and the image beings to transform as the patterns and colors shimmer and move. From there the imagination is given free rein to reform and create new images out the available material.  In this way one can enter through the image using the image as a key or door way to one’s own imagination and experience. Others say the ideal viewing of visionary art is in spiritual practice such as staring at the image while in meditation. Others say the ideal setting and viewing of visionary art is after consuming psychedelics. For others this image distortion is achieved through the use of multi-colored lighting or moving and shifting projections in the space and on the surface of the painting. This differentiation of lighting can bring out certain colors and patterns in the image to give the viewer another way of seeing and interpreting the image. This kind of viewing was seen a lot in the 60’s and 70 psychedelic poster movement as the posters were view in the setting of live music with multicolored lights and projections. By seeing the artwork in this way one can allow their own consciousness to fill the image and can transport into another realm of experience through viewing art.

laurence caruana Vishnu-Christ.Avatar-72dpi.1500w

Vishnu Christ Avatar by Laurence Caruana
http://www.lcaruana.com

Laurence Caruana’s latest and largest achievement is the Academy of Visionary Art in Vienna. This is establishing him as one of the foremost teachers of visionary art and he is bringing together many visionary artists to collaborate in the functioning of this educational institution.  He is one of the foremost teachers of the Mischtechnik of painting along with Ernst Fuches and has impacted the visionary arts community worldwide.

By: Transpersonal Spirit

Bibliography:

http://academyofvisionaryart.com.

http://www.lcaruana.com/webtext/news.html

http://alexgrey.com/laurence-maura/

http://visionaryrevue.com/

http://vimeo.com/8595972

http://solpurpose.com/2013/07/08/the-vienna-academy-of-visionary-art-interview-with-laurence-caruana/

Lee Conklin Psychedelic Poster Artist

Lee Conklin

Psychedelic Poster Artists

lee conklin 3

BG108 By Lee Conklin
http://www.leeconklin.com

Lee Conklin is an artist and graphic designer best known for his psychedelic concert posters he created for the Filmore in San Francisco 1960’s and 70’s. His most iconic image is psychedelic portrait of a lion which was used as an album cover for Santana’s debut album. He designed posters for many bands including Santana, Cream, The Grateful Dead, Buffalo Springfield,  Yardbirds,  Credence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Iron Butterfly, Fleetwood Mac, and many more. Today many of these original posters are sold for thousands of dollars and are collected all over the world. Lee Conklin currently lives in Northern California and continues to make art.

Lee Conklin was born July 24th 1941 in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey and grew up Monsey, New York. “Lee was the sixth of seven children and graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1959. Influenced primarily by the pen-and-ink mastery of Heinrich Kley and Saul Steinberg, he found art as a way of expression.“ (1).

lee conklin cream

BG109 By Lee Conklin
http://www.leeconklin.com

Lee Conklin says, “I didn’t start out initially to be an artist, but while I was studying History and Philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I took on the role of cartoonist for the college paper called the “Calvin College Chimes”. I met my wife Joy there, left school, got married and moved to Florida (1965 – 1966). The Army grabbed me and I cooked for a year in Korea. They let me out in 1967 and we moved to Los Angeles.

In L.A., I did some pen and ink work and some of it was published by the Los Angeles Free Press (remember “Don’t be a creep, buy a Freep”?), which was cool, and I read an article in Time about the “Summer of Love” and that San Francisco was becoming the center of the Universe for music and art and since I wanted to be a cartoonist, my wife and I decided to move up there to see what we could find.” (2).

lee conklin It_s_a_beautiful_day_filmore_auditorium_san_francisco_1968

BG127 By Lee Conklin
http://www.leeconklin.com

The psychedelic and anti-war cultural movements in San Francisco were ignited in the early and mid-Sixties with the introduction of LSD from the merry pranksters with the super pure orange sunshine acid as well political protest. At that time LSD was legal and this incredible substance had a powerful influence on Haight-Ashbury San Francisco. A new form of art and music were emerging which was a clear departure from the music and art of the previous generations it was called psychedelic.  Concert halls were having psychedelic music, posters and psychedelically informed audiences dancing in wild new ways.  By 1967 LSD was illegal and thus the quality and quantity of LSD available declined but the art and music it inspired continued to be the most popular of the day. The press began running stories of Haight-Ashbury and thousands of young people poured into San Francisco looking for their tribe marking the end of the psychedelic revolution and the start of prohibition and wanderlust for the psychedelic youth.  It was after this decline that Lee Conklin arrived in San Francisco and developed what would become the apex of his career.

Lee conklin real iron butterfly

BG157 by Lee Conklin
http://www.leeconklin.com

Conklin recalls, “I heard about the Fillmore and that Bill Graham was hiring artists from the area to make posters for his upcoming shows, and so one Friday night I went there with some drawings and showed them to him. He must have liked what he saw because he asked me if I could do a poster over the weekend for the following week’s show! He chose one of the drawings I had already done and I spent the weekend doing all of the lettering.” (2).

“I consider myself a primitive when it comes to overlays,” Conklin said.  “I had scant experience or training in graphic technique when I got my first poster gig (BGP101). Rick Griffin had such great control of color design by using blue line prints of his drawing to make complex displays of color. I wish I had learned his secret sooner, I would have copied him for sure. But now it’s archaic. I never quite knew what I was doing. I never knew what colors I would use till I picked them off the printers chart. No mock ups, or color comps.” (1).

lee conklin santana lion

Lion by Lee Conklin
http://www.leeconklin.com

Despite his self-proclaimed lack of experience in print his posters are compelling using vivid color, custom lettering, and rich with surrealist inspired psychedelia.  These vintage posters were often hand rendered, and printed in limited editions so that very few originals of these prints remain in circulation today. He created 33 Posters for Bill Graham and the Filmore many of which are some of the finest examples of the psychedelic movement in design.

Lee Conklin continues his story, “Back in the day” I had no personal connection to my fellow poster artists and so no amusing tales. Fast forward to 2012, I find myself hanging out in a New York hotel room with Wes Wilson, David Singer, and John Seabury (Mouse was in the house as well, somewhere as were several other younger talented poster artists.)” (3).

lee conklin santana waves

BG173 By Lee Conklin
http://www.leeconklin.com

”From then on for the next two years, I had a pretty steady gig doing posters for Bill and the Fillmore West (Ed. note – he did over 30 posters in 1968-69). At the same time, the Santana band was playing there pretty frequently and I was well aware of their music, both from performances and their demos, which received extensive airplay on FM radio in San Francisco. One day, Bill asked me to do a poster for a show that Santana was headlining and so, with a little inspiration from a Muse named Mary Jane, I remembered seeing a picture of a lion in a book of animal picture I had and used that image as the basis of my drawing. Even then, I knew that I was making art for future generations and so even though Bill usually liked posters in color, I detailed this one in pen-and-ink. I only made one image, and the next morning he told me that he was going to print is as it was, so he must have been happy with the results.”

lee conklin greatful dead

The Barn Hot Tuna Grateful Dead By Lee Conklin
http://www.leeconklin.com

“Santana also thought that the image was really great, so afterwards he contacted me and asked me to redraw the image for the cover of his debut record. Although the drawing I created really was not inspired by Santana, I guess that the details and the nature of the images impressed him and the people at the record label. My challenge has always been to subvert the poster form to whatever my muse insists on and then to convert my psychedelic experiences to any medium I’m working in. I made it my mission to translate my psychedelic experience into paper. Later on, in the early 70’s, I took acid and when I went to art class, all I could do was sit and stare at the teacher…LSD had little to do with my most-creative efforts (as a druggy, I am over-rated)!” (2).

lee conklin veeva-la-mutation-copulation

Veeva La Mutation By Lee Conklin
http://www.leeconklin.com

Conklin says of psychedelics, “While Acid may have contributed some imagery boost, designing a poster while under its direct influence is not an option. Cannabis for me has been the most effective way to summon the muse… In my life, a kind of religious persecution that has kept us out of the mainstream.” (3).

Conklin and his wife Joy left San Francisco and traveled throughout Northern California, living in an old bread truck. They eventually crossed the country, settling in Middletown, NY, very close to the town where Conklin was born. It was here that they started a family. During these years, Conklin worked in a psychiatric hospital as a therapy aide. He continued his art work in his spare time and sometimes would show his art at some of the regional art fairs in the area. In the latter ’70s, the Conklin’s moved back to Northern California, living for many years in the Petaluma area, which has been a home to a number of the poster people. Conklin worked with for many years with trees and reforestation projects. (3).

lee conklin hark

Hark By Lee Conklin
http://www.leeconklin.com

lee conklin trps-forp2004

TRPS Hall Of Flowers 2004 By Lee Conklin
http://www.leeconklin.com

lee conklin yardbirds big

BG121 By Lee Conklin
http://www.leeconklin.com

Lee Conklin earthdance

Earth Dance 2012 By Lee Conklin
http://www.leeconklin.com

lee conklin blues bash

Lee Conklin

By: Transpersonal Spirit

Bibliography:

(1)  http://fheads.com/Lee_Conklin_XNKG.html

(2)  http://rockandrollreport.com/cover-story-santanas-santana-with-illustration-by-lee-conklin/

(3)  http://blues.gr/profiles/blogs/talking-with-lee-conklin-one-of-the-great-psychedelic-artists

http://www.leeconklin.com/

http://www.thegallery4.us/conklin.html

http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/lee-conklin/poster-art.html

http://goodvsevilzine.blogspot.com/2009/07/lee-conklin-interview.html

Damanhur Part 1

Federation of Damanhur

damanhur Hall_of_Earth1_FINAL

Temple of Humankind – Hall of Earth

Damanhur is an example of what can occur when creativity and art is applied to every facet of a community. They have created everything in their society using a cutting edge DIY approach. Damanhur is an intentional community of people in Northern Italy. “Founded in 1975, the Federation has about 1,000 citizens and extends over 500 hectares of territory throughout Valchiusella and the Alto Canavese area in Italy, at the foothills of the Piedmont Alps. Damanhur promotes a culture of peace and equitable development through solidarity, volunteerism, respect for the environment, art, and social and political engagements.” (1).

They are the world’s largest and most successful eco-village and alternative spiritual community. An eco-village is an intentional community which strives for environmental sustainability, self-sufficiency and communal living. Damanhurian’s are linked by these shared values along with a shared spiritual system which is uniquely Damanhurian.  The story of this metaphysical community reads like a work of science fiction where a group of people live and create their dreams. I have personally spent over one month of time at Damanhur in 2007.

damanhur labyrinth-e1277925793880

Temple of Humankind Labyrinth

“Damanhur has a Constitution, a complementary currency system, a daily newspaper, a magazine, art studios, a center for research and practice of medicine and science, an open university, and schools for children through middle school. The Federation of Damanhur is also known throughout the world because its citizens have created the Temples of Humankind, an extraordinary underground work of art dedicated to the reawakening of the divine essence in every human being. It is considered by many as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” The art studios that made the Temples are located at the Damanhur Crea, a center for innovation, wellness and research, open to the public every day of the year. Damanhur has centers and activities in Italy, Europe, Japan and the United States and collaborates with international organizations engaged in the social, civic and spiritual development of the planet.” (1).

Damanhur_temple_6

Temple of Humankind Hall of Spheres

They are continuously creating and evolving the Temple of Humankind which is one of the most impressive works of spiritual architecture of our time. They have successful artist studios selling paintings, tiffany stained glass, mosaics, jewelry, clothing and more. All art works employ metaphysical energies which make the works spiritually charged.   They have schools, fire departments, construction, art restoration, seed banks, genetics laboratory, sustainable farming practices, solar and wind energy and these services extend to the surrounding regions. They developed their own currency, governments and departments to maintain and grow the community and the surrounding regions. They are frequently invited to give courses at the United Nations on sustainable living, community building, and more. They are unique, mysterious and their worldview is a challenge to all who meet it. They developed all the services needed by investing in educating their peoples so all labor and needs could be filled through the efforts of community members.  They also developed spiritual systems, alchemy, metaphysical technologies, spiritual ceremonies, ritual, initiations, astrology, divination, energy healing, cosmologies, and even time travel. (In future posts I will publish their early time travel logs).

damanhur temple

Temple of Humankind

The founder of Damanhur is a man called Falco; he and a few others founded Damanuhur when they were camped in the foot hills of the Alps in Northern Italy. They saw a light appear in the sky and an orb descended. This orb could communicate with Falco and this orb said he should build a temple into the mountain in that spot and start a spiritual community in harmony with the earth. Without knowledge of architecture or mining they began to dig a temple into the side of the mountain. This is now a huge complex known as the Temples of Humankind and has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors. Every person in the community contributes in some way to the creation of this amazing temple giving everyone a sense of equality and ownership. This incredible temple is just one of many temples and spaces of worship at Damanhur and a lengthy article could be written about this structure alone.

The schools for the children of Damanhur are impressive and are not deeply spiritual. They want the children to choose for themselves and to have freedom of choice in regards to their future. The students go on multiple trips internationally to experience other cultures and other places. They study math, language, science, cooking, reading, writing, computer science, social sciences, the arts and more. The young people at Damanhur seemed quite content much more so than my own experience of adolescence. The community living and setting provides endless support for the children and opportunities to experience many facets of life in and outside the community.

Damanhur water room

Temple of Humankind hall of water

The Damanhurian’s have limits set for population density in a given area and thus their one thousand plus residence are spread out across their large property. Each area is different but all have solar and wind power, and family units called nuclei. There were 14 people living in the house I stayed at. They would have family meals and rotate housekeeping duties. Each person had their own room, which I never saw, and space for personal items. Dinner time was when everyone would meet unless they were tied up in some activity.  The meals were fresh food grow in Damanhur and home cooked. The wine was made there and the people were animated, typical Italians who were surprisingly ordinary for the setting they lived in. They seemed to be a typical group of Italian friends and family sharing their meals and enjoying each other’s company.

One thing that really struck me was that with all the magic, psychic and spiritual play, the Damanhurian’s were normal people choosing to live in a new way and creating a society which was unique and reflective of their values. They have been able to maintain the sense of normalcy with-in this fantastical environment. Due to the far out nature of Damanhur I had expected the people to be spiritual beings glowing with a mysterious alien presence. To my surprise they were very normal Italians.

Damanhur_temple_8

Temple of Humankind Hall of Mirrors

To keep the community on equal footing and interesting they developed the games of life department. Games of Life has the task of keeping the community happy and vibrant. They will have people switch from their primary job to another so they can experience the whole of the community and empathize with others.  They develop lottery for travel, services, and activities. These activities include large scale games, theater, music, films ect… The large scale games are impressive and the games are also a form of research into cooperation and into future scenarios for the expansion of Damanhur.

They have a complex spiritual life which is shrouded in mystery and is integrated into everything they do. The spiritual aspect is, in fact, the core that bonds the community together. They are all interested in living sustainable and spiritually heightened lives with- in a community.  The power of communal ceremony and ritual infuses their lives with purpose and the rewards of self-realization from the spiritual practices keep the community inspired. The Temples of Humankind are a primary example of how a spiritual journey in a community can lead to incredible accomplishments which cannot have happened without a shared spiritual vision.

Damanhur0

Tiffany stained glass dome made in Damanhur

They offer classes in the Damanhurian Mystery School and include courses on past life research, astral travel, Damanhurian spiritual philosophy, history of the universe which includes beings from other planets, time travel and metaphysics.  A man recounted an amazing story to me one afternoon about his experience with past life research. He said that after one of the classes in past lives he had a vivid dream of playing piano in a past life and from that day forth he could play piano with expertise.

SONY DSC

Selfica device. Selfica are alchemical technology used to channel subtle energy.

People who join Damanhur come in many ways. One of the women I spoke to from the Netherlands consulted with the Damanhurian’s about the overwhelming visionary states she experienced in meditation and life. They gave her a practice and talked to her about these experiences and she chose to join the community.  I asked her what about your husband and family she said, “They will understand this is what I am drawn to do.” Many of the people join the community in this way, others are born in Damanhur or the surrounding regions and choose the alternative of Damanhur over rural Italian life; others are attracted by its mystery and mastery of community development and sustainability.

The story of Damanhur is amazingly complex and this article is a brief outline at best. I have been so intrigued by Damanhur that future articles on time travel, Damanhurian technologies and arts will be published here at transpersonalspirit.wordpress.com.

damanhur oraclebanner

Image from full moon Oracle ceremony

By: Transpersonal Spirit

Bibliography

http://www.damanhur.org/     (1)

http://www.thetemples.org/

Merrifeild, Jeff. Damanhur: The Story of the Extraordinary Italian Artistic and Spiritual Community. Hanford Mead Pub. 2006.

Silvia Buffagni (Author), Roberto Benzi (Photographer), Rob Calef (Introduction), Alex Grey (Foreword) Damanhur: Temples of Humankind. Cosm Press. 2006.

Christian Bland Psychedelic Poster Artist

Christian Bland

Psychedelic Poster Artist

christian bland and rob fitzpatrick 2010 psych fest

Christian Bland and Rob Fitzpatrick 2010

Christian Bland is an artist who resides in Austin Texas; he founded his design studio Bland Design in 2004. He states, “Austin, TX was the birthplace of psychedelic music with the advent of the 13th Floor Elevators. Therefore in order to keep the spirit alive, Bland Design was born.”   Bland is a dynamic artist who crosses mediums doing poster art, album design, logo design, song writing as well as a multi-instrumentalist. He is in the world renowned psychedelic rock band The Black Angels and does design for the band providing them with a unique and personal ascetic.  He also plays in the bands Christian Bland and The Revelators and UFO Club all based out of Austin Texas.

Christian Bland

Christian Bland

Bland says, “I’ve always been interested in old advertisements, movie posters, war propaganda posters, and just general design from the 50’s & 60’s. I studied graphic design & advertising at Florida State University and was attracted to the simple, mind bending, sub-conscious controlling art from the 60’s. I love everything from Wes Wilson’s Fillmore posters, to the optical art of Bridget Riley & Julian Stanczak.”  (http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2012/10/its-almost-halloween-so-heres-interview.html)

christian  Bland mohawks

Christian Bland

There is a clear parallel between his music and his visual art, both are influenced by the psychedelic era between the 1960’s and early 1970’s and drip with lysergic inspiration. The Black Angels stay true to the sixties with light shows and projections to create a sensory experience to behold.  Bland also is a core organizer for the Annual Psyche Fest in Austin along with Robert Fitzpatrick, James Oswald, Alex Maas. This same group of people own a record label called The Reverberation Appreciation Society.

Christian Bland and the revolators.

Rob Fitzpatrick 2012

Christian Bland is a full time artist and an influential figure in the development and continuation of the psychedelic culture.  His music, visual art, and organizing has altered the perceptions of people world-wide. His goal is to keep the spirit of the 1960’s psychedelic movement alive and open people’s minds to new perceptions of themselves and the world through the arts, this guiding principle has truly become manifest in the efforts.

christian bland east coast tour 2007

Christian Bland 2007

christian bland fest

Christian Bland

christian bland laced with romance

Christian Bland

christian bland native horse

Christian Bland

christian Bland native

Christian Bland

christian Bland psych fest 2

Christian Bland

christian bland psyche fest 1

Christian Bland

christian bland psyche fest poster

Christian Bland

Bibliography:

http://www.myspace.com/blanddesign

http://www.bland-design.com/

http://theblackangels.com/

http://www.austinpsychfest.com/

http://www.examiner.com/article/a-gregarious-interview-w-christian-bland-of-the-black-angels

http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2012/10/its-almost-halloween-so-heres-interview.html