Abstract Chakra Portfolio
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Introduction to the Intent
Throughout the art world, especially the mystical art world, chakras range far and wide. There are many interpretations of the chakras or wheels as the word is translated. The images are rooted in traditional symbolic forms, which have their beginnings in India. These wheels were based on ancient visualization techniques done to arcane yoga postures while chanting seed syllables, aligning with the deity and focusing energy at specific areas of the body. The deity guided the practitioner to deeper levels of contemplation. The goal of this ancient tradition was to unlock energy within, unite with the deity while chanting oneself into a state of ahimsa or transcendence beyond the ego or body. These techniques and diagrams could if practiced incorrectly by the uninitiated, kill them.
Today with our world is becoming smaller and smaller with the internet and constant barrage of images. Chakras have become icons and co-modified for all. You can get a set of chakras anywhere. Many of these are simplified in our post-modern world of light and color. These modern forms follow the rainbow through that color schemata. And along with these simplified forms, there are healers and psychics that abound with chakra cleansings and ceremonies. One cannot go to a single non-traditional spiritual practice without running into another set of chakras or flags with chakras or etc, etc, etc.
The practice of working with the chakras is not just a symbolic one. It is a deep and continuous mindfulness of the elemental aspect of life. Breath work, music, drumming, and sound vibration practice all combine to allow one access to chakras. There are many. Some systems have 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 27 and on and on. The key to all of these practices is to clearly visualize and flow with subtle energies. We learn to pay attention in the yoga of chakras. We learn to pay attention to our subtle energetic bodily form. The wheels open us up and help us realize how things are connected, unique and the same.
As an artist, I became obsessed with chakras at an early age. From copying and studying the ancient Indian forms and meanings, to practicing chanting seed syllables, to drawing both simple and complex variations of these wheels, all along a road which constantly changed as my artistic techniques and ideas changed. Along this journey, music has often accompanied the creation of these works. Not just chakra music moving through the tonal mixtures of the of the 7 note scale, but also techno music, classical music, kirtans and yogic chanting of mantras. Often these works would be playing in the studio as I created yet another set of chakras or a figure with the chakras within its form.
What intrigued me was the consistency and yet the variation of approaches that one can have to the chakra forms. Each one functions as a manifestation of differing energies in life. But also as I have evolved, the more abstract my works became. Thus it became much less about the actual chanting of syllables as the act of just vocalization of sounds. It became less about the symbolic meaning of color and more about the feeling that arises from within each color. More about the lines, circles and geometric shapes that makes one consider the connections, than the form as function repeated ad infinatum in the various derivative forms that the chakras have taken.
While on the one hand, these chakras have a form and function that alludes to the tradition of chakras, my attempt has been to break with tradition, almost thumbing as we pass through them, to a more intuitive relationship with the chakras. The chakras had to have been created by someone in the past. While the system is very effective it is also a trap, like all patterns. We set ourselves up to have the same experience instead of a direct experience of each chakra as it is. Finally the practice and system must evolve if we are to evolve at a species. This is the intention for this portfolio of abstract chakras.
Written January 21, 2017
Completed Portfolio with 9 Chakra paintings 11×15 in hand made cover: $1600.00 Prints of individual Chakras: $80.00 each.