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The Mission of Art Paperback – March 13, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"An inspirational text for artists and for everyone else who has ever had a glimpse of art's power for personal catharsis and spiritual awakening."— Branches of Light
"Grey's insistence that art should be a revelatory and healing force in our culture should resonate with artists in virtually any discipline."— Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
I urge anyone who loves and appreciates art, especially art students, to make this book both a part of your "way of seeing," and "being in," the world.
In The Mission of Art, Grey gives us a glimpse of his expanded transcendent view of reality, which includes dimensions seen and unseen. His sublime vision embraces the polarities of good and evil, beauty and horror, but ultimately transcends the limitations of both. His words and art bring us to a hauntingly familiar archetypal place within which is ultimately beyond these dualities. The ability to do this, as he with eloquent, gentle wisdom puts forth, is itself the "highest" of the many functions of art. Grey's dozens of illustrations, reminiscent of Blake but for me more transformative, fill the book with a noumenal force which several times brought me to poignant tears of divine remembrance. What makes Grey's work so powerfully authentic is that it is a product of his own direct experience of transpersonal states of consciousness. The highest function of the artist, he submits, is to capture the essence of this universal transcendent experience, and through art, share it as gifts to humanity. Grey not only shares these archetypal, imaginal realms with us but goes further. Bespeaking his spiritual maturity, Grey points to the necessity of going BEYOND all form in our inward journey that we will all one day take back our common Formless Source.
Grey's art, and this book, itself fulfills the highest function of art by showing us what is on the other side of the inner veil, and potentially ushering us to its threshold. -Eliot Jay Rosen, author of Experiencing the Soul
Imagine, for a moment, the Creative Forces. How do you envision the Spirit of Life, as it expresses itself within you? When I suggest this meditation in my classes, people usually enjoy it. When I suggest to pick up a colored crayon or two and help the Creative Spirit express itself on paper, this second instruction creates more anxiety than pleasure. I hear the protest, "But I can't draw what I envisioned!" I might reply, "Just allow yourself to enjoy the process and don't be worrying so much about how you think it should look. Let it be easy, let the vision guide the drawing, let it do what it wants with itself."
After we have made our drawings, people share a little of what was experienced during the meditation and we get to see how it came out on paper. The drawings are so different, yet group members usually recognize the mark of the Creative Spirit in them. Their sheets of paper contain precious revelations. People remark favorably, of course, about those that are more "artistic." Some may denigrate their own work when comparing it with those that win the group's "artistic" award. I try to draw their attention elsewhere. It's not about being "artistic," but about honoring one's experience as best one can.
Alex Grey, author of The Mission of Art (Shambhala), writes that the purpose of making art should not be trivialized into a career path toward fame and fortune. The essential purpose of making art, he reminds us, is to honor Spirit, to make it visible, to make it real in this world. If we create also for the purpose that it might further awaken Spirit in others, then making art becomes a spiritual mission as well. If sufficient talent, dedication and hard work are present in the mix, then it can also be a profession.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everyone needs to read this book, especially artists of any kind.Published 6 months ago by Emily Rasmussen
He's a genius. No, he's actually a genius, for real. This guy is a genius.Published 11 months ago by jeffro199
A Life affirming and inspiring book for artists of all types. Guides one to expressing their higher nature through art in order to affect change to the world around him/her.Published 13 months ago by Lucas Piercy
another great work by Alex Grey = psychedelic and aware man of art through the ages and what it pertains to and points at, all depending on the medium you work or are viewing.Published 19 months ago by Wesley A. Ornick
At first when I first got the book, I was concerned the autograph was not authentic but when it arrived and I saw it I just knew it was done by Alex Grey's hand. Read morePublished on January 18, 2014 by J. F. Mulvaney
Such a cool book by a visionary artist. Very inspiring and well written. Will certainly be looking to expand my Alex Grey Collection from here.Published on December 3, 2013 by jbuffaloe7722