Finding a Passion Through Artwork (Revised)
Finding a Passion Through Artwork
It was Saturday, December 8th, 2012 and I was with my two best friends Shaun and Tyler attending a concert at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, Colorado. I initially had no desire or intention of going to this show, but they assured me that I would never forget that night because before the show started we would have the pleasure of listening to a presentation from a world famous spiritual/psychedelic artist named Alex Grey. I had no idea who Mr. Grey was or even what his artwork was about. We stood as close as we could to the rail in hopes of catching a good view of the screen. Upon entering the stage, I noted that Mr. Grey had long flowing silver-white hair, spoke with a soft voice that seemed unnaturally peaceful and wore a jacket decorated with bright colors and patterns. This man’s unique appearance was enough to get my attention and intrigue me about what he was saying. Throughout Mr. Grey’s presentation I learned that he worked at Harvard Medical School studying anatomy and preparing cadavers for dissection. This incredible experience of working first hand with the deceased inspired him to follow his passion of artwork and human anatomy to create beautiful, magnificent pieces of art that highlight the human body and spirit. What separates Mr. Grey’s artwork from other spiritual/psychedelic artists are the anatomically perfect human bodies that are the focus of his pieces. Mr. Grey’s artwork seems to “x-ray” the subjects, allowing a look into their anatomy. He includes the skin, muscles, vital organs, blood vessels, nerves and bones of each body in the painting displaying how intricate humans are.
As a reader you may be asking yourself, “How does this experience relate to your life, Chase?” Well, even as a small child I had a strong interest in how our bodies functioned and what made us tick. Advancing through school my favorite subject was always biology because it offered explanations for the questions about our bodies that I longed to understand. During the Fall 2012 semester of school, which coincidentally was the same semester that I was introduced to Alex Grey, I officially declared my major as Integrative Physiology at CU Boulder. Within the Integrative Physiology major, students have the opportunity to study human anatomy by working with actual cadavers, similar to what Alex Grey experienced, in a course called “Intro to Human Anatomy Lab.” Throughout the lab I found myself constantly examining Mr. Grey’s artwork looking for specific blood vessels, nerves and bones that I had learned about, and found them present exactly where they should be on the human body. Finishing Anatomy Lab caused me to appreciate Mr. Grey’s artwork even more, because the body is exceptionally complex and he manages to capture the beauty of it all. I am now a second semester junior at CU Boulder and absolutely love what I study. Without a doubt, working with the human body is what I want to do as a profession and a lot of credit goes to Alex Grey and his magnificent artwork that sparked a passion that will last a lifetime.
Alex Grey- Reading, 2001, Oil on Linen