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.
Ha ha. I’ve always found the whole “Adam founded Tool” thing funny. Pretty sure it takes at least two people to make a band. Even people like Trent Reznor and Prince didn’t do it all by themselves.
I’m sure the May Jay haters will jump on me for this but its not about defending him. Besides, we all know Tool wasn’t Tool until Danny was convinced to join.
2. In your new book, Net of Being, their is a section
Whoever wrote this interview spelled there wrong.
Is Tool really a cult band? Isn’t the a cult band or movie just a band or movie that has attracted a small audience of dedicated fans. I don’t believe a cult band would go platinum.
Alex Grey seems a little wanky, but not completely. Hippies are like that sometimes.
wonder if there is any mention of him doing artwork again for Tool? probably not the new album i assume.
“Maynard and his band TOOL”. Yup.
I doubt, despite his relationship with the band, Alex Grey could write a better 3 sentence paragraph adequately describing TOOL then any run-of-the-mill fan. It is his oninion/perspective is all. Certainly nothing to get the panties in a bunch.
Adam AND Maynard founded Tool together.
Tool is still considered a cult band by most people. They just have a very large cult following. It’s generally the same crowd buying the records and seeing the shows every time. They don’t really experience true commercial success…like having an album like Nirvana’s “Nevermind” or Pearl Jam’s “Ten” or…Shania Twain lol…where it takes over the world and sells 30 million copies and has multiple Top 40 singles.
I wonder if those two questions were actually asked in that order. Makes the interviewer seem like a dick. Because, if what is there is exactly what was said, then Alex had just referred to Adam as the founder of Tool, which would make it seem as though the interviewer intentionally referred to Tool as “Maynard’s band” to correct him…. i don’t know… that just came across as oddly douchey in this context.
Not sure it’s douchey per se, I just think the interview was done by an Alex Grey fan rather than a Tool fan.
I’m not sure if I should preorder this or not. Do we know the release date?
I don’t know anything other than what’s on the Amazon page, which says the publication date is October 15. I’m thinking about pre-ordering as well, since I have a few Amazon vouchers burning a hole in my e-wallet. We’ll see…
Ordered this, side note:
does ANYONE have a copy of Alex Grey’s Tool: Live book?
Im pretty sure Ive seen 1 copy ever, if I did actually even see it, it was about 8-10 years ago.
Would very much like a copy.
Alex is a big TooL fan… I met him and Allyson in NY in 2007 and one of the first things he said to me was “are you a Tool fan? Did you find out about my work through them?” I said no but they were one of my favorite bands, and that I first saw his artwork through a book I had read about spiritualism. We chatted for a while and he showed me the ‘net of Being’ painting that was in his studio along with many other incredible pieces…. ‘Net of Being’ is huge! It’s also unfinished. I… Read more »
Also, he didn’t paint ‘Net of Being’ specifically for TooL, he already was working on it and Adam saw it and said it was what he wanted for 10,000 days, unfinished and all.
I have his wallet.
If you needed money, all you need to do is ask. You don’t have to go stealing from people.
Now apologize to the nice Mr. Grey for stealing his wallet.