Alex Grey’s Artist’s Prayer in The Mission of Art

Creator of the universe,
How infinite and astonishing
Are your worlds.
Thank you
For your sacred art
And sustaining presence

Divine Imagination,
Forgive my blindness,
Open all my eyes.
Reveal the light of truth.
Let original beauty
Guide my every stroke.

Universal Creativity,
Flow through me,
From my heart
Through my mind to my hand,
Infuse my work with spirit
To feed hungry souls.

 

Art spans human history, from prelinguistic cavedweller to postmodern city dweller, and stands as witness to an ongoing creative process, an evolution of worldviews, a historic unfolding vision of nature, humanity, cosmos, and consciousness itself. Every work of art embodies the vision of its creator and reveals a facet of the collective mind. Artists offer the world the pain and beauty of their soul as a gift to open the eyes of and heal the collective. In order to produce their finest works, artists lose themselves in the energetic flow of creation, become possessed by an art spirit. Art history shows each successive wave of vision flowing through the world’s artists. Like the seers and oracles of old, Art sings and shouts from the axis of truth to wake us up to who we are and where we are going.

The genesis of art is a mystery buried deep in the psyches of our prehistoric ancestors. At least forty thousand years ago people started to draw, paint, and sculpt, and probably to make music. What is this deep need that drives humans to symbolize their feelings and ideas? Art can transfix and exert a strange influence over us; we freely and curiously give it our attention. Art seems to be a spark of the eternal coalesced with a distinct historic moment, driving artists to do something that witnesses their depth, that expresses their most personal and universal insights. Artists compose music, perform theater, paint pictures, sing songs, write poems and books, make cartoons, videos, websites. They somehow make their mark, and their art asks us to open our senses and take in the world anew, to experience and appreciate the full range of life in all its terror and glory, its strangeness and beauty. Art helps us maintain our creative excitement about life, and at its best, art can inspire and transform us. The mission of art advances as individual artists express their culture’s views of the world, in a personally hewn collective vision.

—Alex Grey, The Mission of Art, pages 1–9

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