Artatomical: Alex Grey's Psychedelic 'Dying'

Artatomical: Alex Grey's Psychedelic 'Dying'
"Dying" by Alex Grey AlexGrey.com

As we're re-publishing our two-part series on psychedelics, "The Scientist and the Shaman" this week, it's the perfect time to give Alex Grey the Artatomical treatment here. Born in 1953, Grey stands at the forefront of psychedelic art. He frequently explores spiritual matters in his work, but almost always with a grounding in human physiology.

In fact, Grey spent five years studying anatomy at Harvard Medical School. So as with so many great masters of anatomic art before him, the details in his work stem from the actual dissection of human cadavers. This is not an artist who tackles the human form lightly.

I chose the 1990 painting "Dying" because it ties in nicely with some of our discussion of psychedelics and death, which we also covered in the podcast episode "Touching the Void."

Grey himself describes the painting as follows: "An ectoplasmic wisp of a soul exits the top of the head and ascends through a tunnel of infinite awareness toward the clear white light."

Explore more of Alex Grey's mind-blowing art at AlexGrey.com -- and yes, you can buy a print of "Dying" right here.