I don’t normally plug books on this site, but Alex Grey‘s coming book Net of Being promises to shed some further light on his collaboration with Tool. According to the Amazon description:
How Alex Grey’s visionary art is evolving the cultural body through icons of interconnectedness
• Includes over 200 reproductions of Grey’s artwork
• Contains spectacular photos of Grey’s collaboration with the cult band TOOL plus his worldwide live-painting performances
• Offers Grey’s reflections on how art evolves consciousness with a new symbology of the Networked Self
Revealing the interwoven energies of body and soul, love and spirit that illuminate the core of each being, Alex Grey’s mystic paintings articulate the realms of consciousness encountered during visits to entheogenic heaven worlds. His painting Net of Being–inspired by a blazing vision of an infinite grid of Godheads during an ayahuasca journey–has reached millions as the cover and interior of the band TOOL’s Grammy award–winning triple-platinum album, 10,000 Days. Net of Being is one of many images Grey has created that have resulted in a chain reaction of uses–from apparel and jewelry to tattoos and music videos–embedding these iconic works into our culture’s living Net of Being.
The book explores how the mystical experience expressed in Alex Grey’s work opens a new understanding of our shared consciousness and unveils the deep influence art can have on cultural evolution. The narrative progresses through a successive expansion of identity–from the self, to self and beloved, to self and community, world spirit, and cosmic consciousness, where bodies are transparent to galactic energies. Presenting over 200 images, including many never-before-reproduced paintings as well as masterworks such as St. Albert and the LSD Revelation Revolution and Godself, the book also documents performance art, live-painting on stage throughout the world, and the “social sculpture” called CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, that Grey cofounded with his wife and creative collaborator, artist Allyson Grey.
How much it has to reveal about Tool is anyone’s guess, but for Grey fans is probably worth checking out.
While reading about this book, I also came across this short interview with Alex, in which he talks briefly about his artwork on several album:
1. 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?
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.
2. 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 his band TOOL when it comes to this partnership with them artistically?
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.