I first came across your art from the TOOL album you did and then later Nirvana’s album and the Beastie Boys, at once becoming an admirer of your art forever. Could you tell us a bit about that experience and explain what transpired creatively between you and the bands?
Alex Grey: Nirvana’s manager requested the use of one of my paintings entitled “Pregnant Femaie” for the “In Utero” album. I never met Kurt Cobain but heard that he admired my art and promised to come to the studio the next time he was in New York. Then he died.
Adam Yauch called asking to use the “Gaia” painting on the “Ill Communications” album. We spoke a few times on the phone and had lovely conversations when we ran into each other at Buddhist ceremonies and speaking engagements of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
I had a solo exhibition in Santa Monica and Adam Jones, lead guitar and founder of Tool, inquired with the gallery about my artwork and started talking immediately about album art. He described his concept of the dissectional art for the Lateralus album. He asked me to conceptualize a stage setting using my work to travel with the band on 90 city tours of stadiums throughout the world. It was astonishing the exposure that my work received through our interaction for the past two albums. I also had the opportunity to create and co-create my first two animation projects.
In your new book, Net of Being, their is a section about your relationship with the band TOOL. What can you tell us about your experiences with Maynard and the band TOOL when it comes to this partnership with them artistically?
Alex Grey: Actually, it is my understanding that the lead guitar, Adam Jones, founded the band Tool. Adam saw my work at a solo show in Santa Monica and we struck up a relationship that has resulted in the exposure of my work to literally millions of people worldwide. It has been a wonderful and life altering experience for which I am very grateful. Allyson and i have had a wonderful relationship with Maynard, Danny & Justin, too.
Your art to me speaks of the spiritual and cosmic significance of life and the soul. Could you share the spiritual side of life and your art?
Alex Grey: Allyson and I like to say that art is our religion. Art is the oldest living religious tradition and embraces all sacred paths. Every great wisdom tradition has manifested sacred art in many disciplines — paintings and sculpture, architecture, performance, dance, music, wisdom writing, poetry…
We believe that every day is a good day when we paint. CONTINUED..
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