“It takes a miracle of creative imagination on the part of a community to envision a sacred space into existence and that is precisely what happened.”–Alex Grey
The best way to describe Alex Grey’s work is “transcendental art”, I think I just made that up, but if you Googled it, I’m pretty sure someone has a website dedicated to it and Alex’s work is on it. Alex strips away the annoying flesh of his subjects and shows you the soul…no not like Hellraiser, but like seeing the bio-luminescent spiritual components that make up who we are. I’ve told myself, while gazing at his art, that this must be what one sees when you crossover. Just Chakra’s and Raiki beaming from each individual, illuminating what would otherwise be hidden.
Here’s when I talk about my time in New York and when I visited Alex and his wife Allyson’s gallery COSM (Chapel Of Sacred Mirrors) that has been doing what it does since 1996. I always thought the local of his resident gallery was inappropriate for his work, especially when his place was a stone throw away from all the clubs near The Meatpacking District…ew.
So this news that his new gallery (pictured below) got kickstarted, is fantastic. Entheon will be nestled 65 miles north of Manhattan in the town of Warppinger, also home to the Hudson River School, a school that was the mecca of the first American art movement back in the mid 19th century.
Vice Magazine did an interview with Alex and is wife about the project and this is what they had to say…among other things.
You have found a location and a structure to build upon. Could you tell us where it will be in Hudson Valley?
Chapel of Sacred Mirrors is a wooded 40-acre center for visionary culture, an interfaith church where we practice creativity as a spiritual path. CoSM is located in the Town of Wappinger, 65 miles from Manhattan. We are within easy walking distance to the river. The Hudson Valley is a place of great beauty and spiritual history. And the home of the first American art movement, the Hudson River School.
The Hudson River Landscape painters like Cole, Church and Bierstadt visually paralleled transcendentalist sentiments expressed by Emerson and Thoreau that Nature is divine. The native Wappinger people called the Hudson River Mo-He-Kahn-I-Tuke, the “great flow that goes both ways.” The Hudson River is a Moon River, a tidal river that flows from the ocean up to just past CoSM and then back out to sea, changing directions every six hours. The river is a metaphor for community. Each of us is a small stream flowing into the great river with increasing speed and power toward the ocean of love bliss. In the case of the Hudson River, or the Mo-He-Kahn-I-Tuke, we have a spiritual ocean that is pulled within the community, even upstream, and the community is empowered with this special influx of holy energy from the greater body. This is one of the reasons we have always met on the Full Moon, in honor of the river, which we were the same distance from in the city. A number of spiritual movements have originated in the Hudson Valley and there is a pearl necklace of retreat centers up the river, like temples on the Nile. Within several hours of arguably the greatest art capital in the world, next to an exquisite river, artists are finding a place in nature to be creative. Who wouldn’t?
New Yorkers may remember the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, which ran from 2004 to 2009. How is Entheon different?
CoSM operated 12,000 square feet in the heart of the gallery and club district of NYC. A dance studio, CoSM Shop, the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors and MicroCoSM Gallery, our studio, office, merchandise and shipping were all on that floor. But we couldn’t build an enduring temple of the fourth floor of 542 W. 27th Street so we started looking for land again soon after CoSM NYC opened.
Entheon is a freestanding two-story building with a third ground floor at the back. Many of the works that were exhibited at CoSM in the city will be on view in this installation including all 21 Sacred Mirrors, Cosmic Christ, Net of Being, Theologue, Oversoul, and many others. Within Entheon, MicroCoSM Gallery will once again exhibit the works of excellent visionary artists. CoSM in the Hudson Valley is a tranquil yet very lush and alive natural setting. It is a very large “canvas” for art, creative projects and installations.
Alex and his wife foresee completion of Entheon, in about two years provided everything goes off without a hitch. Looking at the semantics for Entheon this place is not only going to be an amazing gallery, but potentially a place to come and fellowship or meditate. I know a few Burning Man fans who’ll make a pilgrimage to see this place and light a fire. Hope Warppinger is ready. I’ve provided links to Alex’s work below.