Visionary artist Alex Grey was brought up in a middle-class family in Columbus, Ohio. Fascinated with death from an early age, the young Grey used to collect and dissect dead animals and insects, then bury them in the family’s back yard. Although Grey attended art school in Columbus, he dropped out after two years, working as a billboard painter and later studying under the tutelage of conceptual artist Jay Jaroslav. But it was the LSD trips he took with his wife Allyson that provided the impetus to begin his art. Working at Harvard Medical School for five years, his job was to prepare corpses for dissection. There he studied human anatomy before working as a medical illustrator, which prepared Grey to paint his visions. His work transcends anatomical illustrations, exploring the spiritual and physical structure of the human body. His 21-piece series of life-size works named “The Sacred Mirrors” took ten years to create. The canvases were painted as if they were mirrors reflecting the viewer’s body, and they examine in great detail all aspects of the mind, body and soul through the human life cycle. Grey’s highly detailed paintings are spiritual and scientific in equal measure, revealing the artist’s psychedelic, spiritual and super-natural view of humanity and the universe.
Caption: One, 2001, courtesy the artist