Alex Grey is a multidisciplinary artist whose work encompasses painting, sculpture, visionary art, performance art, and installation art. His specialty include spiritual and visionary art, and he is well-known over the world for these. Grey is an outspoken personality who has always been fascinated by provocative and dark topics since he was a child. He was captivated by the concept of death as a child, and he used to collect dead insects to bury in his backyard. His artistic bent was clear from his boyhood, and his graphic designer father pushed him to draw. He went to medical school after studying fine arts in college and spent five years in the anatomy department preparing cadavers for dissection; his anatomical experience inspired his works tremendously. He was also a big fan of existentialism, and he experimented with drugs to get mystical experiences. He is known for his ‘x-ray’ style of painting, in which he depicts the stages of psyche development. In his works, he has a unique ability to depict clairvoyant visions and hallucinogenic themes. In a mix of visionary and postmodern art, he explores the physical, metaphysical, and spiritual anatomy of human life experiences.
Childhood and Adolescence
Alex Velzy was born into a middle-class household. His father, who worked as a graphic designer, fostered his son’s artistic ability.
He grew fascinated by the idea of death. He would collect dead animals and insects and bury them in his backyard in a ritualistic manner.
In 1971, he was awarded a scholarship to the Columbus College of Art and Design. In 1973, he quit out and spent a year painting billboards in Ohio.
For a year, he studied conceptual artist Jay Jaroslav at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (1974-75). There, he met his wife, Allyson Rymland, and the two began experimenting with LSD to generate mystical experiences.
He subsequently went to Harvard Medical School, where he spent five years researching corpses and preparing them for dissection in the Anatomy department. His time in medical school had a big influence on his profession.
A Career of Alex Grey
During the 1970s, he worked as a research technologist at Harvard’s Mind/Body Medicine department under Dr. Herbert Benson and Dr. Joan Borysenko. He experimented with subliminal healing energies.
In 1972, he began work on a series of art acts depicting rites of passage by depicting stages of a maturing psyche. Over the course of 30 years, he performed roughly 50 performance rites.
In 1979, he began work on the Sacred Mirror series, which consists of 21 life-size paintings. He painted in a ‘x-ray’ technique, depicting the material, mental, and spiritual components of existence. He took ten years to finish the series.
After doctors viewed his ‘Sacred Mirrors’ paintings, he was asked to perform graphic work for medical periodicals. For ten years, he was an Artistic Anatomy and Figure Sculpture lecturer at New York University.
In 1990, he published his first monograph, Sacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey. Through pictures and essays, the book takes the reader on a journey through the physical and spiritual self.
In 1998, he released ‘The Mission of Art,’ a philosophical book in which he traced the growth of human awareness via the history of art. Through creative methods, he investigates the spiritual path of an artist.
In the late 1990s, Alex and his wife founded the Foundation for the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, Ltd., a non-profit organization dedicated to the belief that art can help people and societies change for the better.
In 2012, his book ‘Net of Being’ was published. It uses replicas and images of the artist’s work to show the growth of his work.
He presently teaches Visionary Art courses at The Open Center in New York City, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and the Omega Institute alongside his wife.
He now sells paintings, prints, books, posters, DVDs, calendars, clothes, jewelry, and a variety of other goods on his many websites.
Major Projects of Alex Grey
He is most renowned for his Sacred Mirror series, which consists of 21 life-size paintings that lead viewers on an internal journey into their own divine nature by delving into the body, mind, and spirit in great detail. The series depicts the individual’s cosmological, biological, and technological progression.
Achievements & Awards
In 2013, his book ‘Net of Being’ received the Silver Nautilus Award for its commitment to spiritual growth, environmental values, and positive social change, as well as the realms of art and creativity.
Personal History and Legacy
Allyson Grey, a painter, is his wife. Zena Grey, their daughter, is a well-known actress and artist.
Estimated Net Worth
Alex is one of the wealthiest painters and one of the most popular. Alex Grey’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
Several of his paintings have been utilized as record covers by musicians.