Visionary art is not a definable style, that is to say from artist to artist the finished work can look very different. Just because the word ‘Art’ is used you should not pigeon hole this form as purely painted. The word art and artist is used a as an umbrella term to describe painters, photographers digital artist, musicians and movie makers.
What I believe links all Visionary work is that it is a depiction of an inner journey or self inquiry. The works are often asking questions of the viewer or even the artists themselves and some times these questions may not be easy to answer.
This work in my view taps into a place of no mind. It is not created with a driving thought. Visionary artists don’t set out to create a work in a certain style with a certain message, the work just flows without intent much like a dream. Like a dream I believe each work is trying to say something which may or may not be deeply profound.
For me the creation of a work is a deeply peaceful act which when the mind engages is often spoilt. Of course the ‘monkey mind’ is always at work but I find that I can for a time switch off intent and just go with the flow.
Many visionary artists create while under the grip of hallucinogenic drugs and so often the images are very surreal and even disturbing. As someone whose drug experience runs to aspirins and paracetamol, I cannot talk about what things like LSD can bring to the creative table but I believe that this is just a radical way to switch off the mind and as I like to say peer above the wall of conventional thinking.
Work of a visionary nature has also been created by the mentally ill and there have be those attracted by the art of the ‘insane’ since the earliest of times. We can see that when we are talking about or viewing work of this nature we must not bring our logical mind with us for it will no doubt come to some very limited conclusions. Rejection of the unconventional is a human trait that has seldom reaped much reward, looking beyond the initial perception can be a life changing act.
Pure fantasy by outsiders?
It would be easy to right off the work of visionary artists as pure fantasy as there seems little to link these works in the reality of the day. Often visionary artists have no or little formal artistic training which blocks all the usual ‘cliquey’ avenues for conventional artists.
Maybe it is these very limitations that make this work so intriguing. How many times have we been shown a new way of thinking or seeing by people that could never fit into normal life roles. And because of their perceived ‘limitations’ they have had to take the less trodden path.
I’m not suggesting that visionary art holds the answers to life but I do believe it opens the door to challenging the very perceptions that may be keeping us back from such discoveries. In a world where science and religion still battle daily maybe the work of the visionary points to another way.
This art can touch on the spiritual and mystical. It may tackle questions few feel inclined to ask and take people on journeys few ever want to go. To some these works may depict it the boogie man at the bottom of the bed to others, an angelic form inviting you to nirvana. But whatever you think or feel about visionary art it is always your personal perception. The most important aspect of these works for me was they always forced me to question my perceptions and in doing so understand that nothing is ever what it seems.
This is why upon the republishing of these works I decided to rename them as I now see many of them differently from when i first created them . Also Unlike before I will not be posting my personal interpretations of each work. What this art does or doesn’t mean should be completely and uniquely up to you