I'm not the Immortal Artist. You are

Immortal Artist is dedicated to exploring all aspects of experimental art and creating new and innovative techniques which other artists can use to strengthen their own work.


The blogs creator, experimental artist Grey Cross pursues and discusses art across a wide spectrum of artistic mediums. They include painting, sculpting, body art, digital art, and photography. With an emphasis on teaching artists to utilize today's social networks to further their own art and reputations.


This blog uses the Living Blog concept, an idea created by Grey Cross

Grey Cross Studios/Immortal Artist Operations

New Orleans

Email: greyacross@aol.com

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Knowledge of the Tree of Good & Evil

stop•gap (ˈstɒpˌg?p) 

n.
1. something that fills the place of something else that is lacking; temporary substitute; makeshift.
adj.
2. serving as a stopgap: a stopgap solution.

I pose this as a thought exercise. Set aside your ideas of the world a moment and step into anothers shoes and imagine a different world than what you know.

****

You have to understand that I do not believe that the curve of mankind's development started at the bottom and went up to present time. Rather I believe (as many more do these days) that we were preceded by an earlier civilization. Where most think we began as cave dwellers discovering fire and worked our way up. I believe more and more evidence shows that we've already reached a pinnacle of technology and were somehow destroyed, bringing us back to the level of caveman to begin our ascent once more.



Imagine if you would for just a moment that such a thing were true and that that early civilization was not destroyed by natural causes, but rather by technological devastation of their own making. Would it be logical that they built to high and to fast and destroyed themselves?

Yes its all hypothesis, but as a trans-disciplinary artist, I constantly engage in the "what if" game and take a very very long view of both the past and the future and what they both mean.

Think for a moment what you would do, if you were one of the few survivors of such a civilization. What if you were one of the few that had not lost your ability to think and reason while those around you were being cast back to a barbaric way of life. What if you and a few others still understood what had happened and determined to take steps to not let it happen again. But you have no resources. You have only your own brains and the lessons of the past to guide you.

Some think that those people became gods. Lording over the ones that were reduced to creatures. But what if a few were humanitarian and desired to see the mistakes of the past repaired. What would you (in their place) do to ensure mankind's redevelopment along another path? How could you "nudge" it?

I asked myself this after reading a very interesting article and the inquisition. My answer was that I think I would create a religion that shunned technology.

I would focus my energy towards creating a mythos that made others fear knowledge and shy away from it rather than crave it.

The second chapter of Genesis reads:

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

And it worked. for 6,000+ years its slowed us nearly to the point of stagnation. Even today, there are those who say "knowledge is evil". How many fear science even now and decry the theory of evolution, the big bang and climate change?

The old testament had its roots in earlier teachings as do all modern religions now. But this theme of shunning knowledge seems to be present in much of our early history.

Did this grand experiment work? Are we still in peril of learning too quickly? Did it fail and hold us back for too long?

There are no answers, but I write this to make you think. We are so ingrained in the ways we perceive the universe around us that we fail to see any other alternatives to who and what we are now.

I will write more if I feel I have the right words for it. I hope it made you think.

In Hopeful Wisdom,

~Grey~




Monday, December 22, 2014

Mark of the Beast

As some of you know, I've been working on a huge new piece for almost 2 months now. I've been reticent to do more than show updated views on twitter, with little to no explanation of its meaning. But since I am getting more and more questions about it, I suppose its time to start to put some of its information up.

Some Interesting Stats:

 The canvas is 8 feet high by 4 feet across and is created to be hung on a wall, not laid flat.




The frame was hand built by me and is 3 inches deep. It is supported by a framework of support struts to keep the canvas from sagging.

Six different types of glues and epoxies are used to make sure that nothing can fall off over the long term.

The streets and cross were laid in first to create the grid pattern for the structures later to come. A raised highway was added right at the start to cover over a design flaw in the canvas.



Each individual structure is a full days job to complete before being added to the whole.

The daily design process begins early in the day and includes approximately 5-8 different steps before its ready to be epoxied to the canvas around 4am each night.

There are currently 61 structures finished with approximately 40 more to be sculpted.

The total weight of the piece is only about 20 pounds currently as almost 90% of the sculpture is made from dry foam. Its still easily movable by myself alone although awkward as hell because of its height.

The construction pit is the most unique structure on the canvas. In order to create it, part of the canvas was cut away opening a 5 inch wide circle which a light weight plastic  bowl was epoxied beneath the 3" frame. The bowl was then filled with wet layered terry cloth soaked in a glue substance. The cloth simulated piles of sand around the construction pit and was then covered in rust covered sand which dried and adhered to the surface of the cloth. In the pit itself, marble tile was used to simulate construction girders, completing the illusion of a building under construction.


Other unique structures include two towers. The first is a satellite tower, the second a radio tower. Both were made from cast off scraps from other projects.



There are four unique urban decay structures. Each was created by hollowing out and sculpting dry foam using a dremel Each structure is graffiti covered and one is partially ivy covered using dry moss.




The Mosque was created from a broken mosaic glass candle holder which was epoxied to a foam base. The dome was created using a common household light bulb.


The Treehouse Condo was created from a very termite eaten piece of wood that I found on the side of the road. The structure of the wood was sound, so I brought it home, cleaned it up a bit, sanded it and sculpted it a bit, then set it on a foam base. Its unusual, but most concept architecture is these days


There are many more structures of course, but those are a few of the more unique pieces.

The Title & Meaning

My biggest concern with this piece was that the meaning of the piece would be lost in the complexity of the cityscape. The idea for this piece came from protesters in Salt Lake City regarding next years ninth World Congress of Families. Many were very upset that this group was going to be spreading their antigay bigoted views. Someone in an oped said "it casts a shadow across our beautiful city". And there it was. The image captured my imagination and has become reality. The city does not represent Salt Lake, but is an amalgam of every city cast under the shadow of evangelical extremism. It is the true mark of the beast.

I'm not sure how many will understand my meaning. It will be interesting to see how its interpreted.

In The Coming Days 

The sculpture is only about 60% completed at this time (2 days from Christmas 2014). I have another month or so of work to go on it that includes refining. I may donate it when complete unless there is a definite buyer interested. If you know of any organizations that could benefit from it, let me know.

I will update this blog entry with complete and additional facts regarding the piece once it is finished. Here is the most updated view of the piece as of today 12-22-14. Follower my twitter for daily updates at @GreyCrossStudio


Friday, December 19, 2014

Walking in the City of the Dead

necropolis
[nuh-krop-uh-lis, ne-]

1. a cemetery, especially one of large size and usually of an ancient city.
2. a historic or prehistoric burial ground.



There is a great fascination with the cemeteries of New Orleans. For those not living near its important to understand that due to the high water table, burying bodies six feet under just doesn't work here. Because of this, the cities of the dead have a mystical quality to them. When you add the fact that New Orleans is well known for its Voodoo culture and ritualistic magic, you can see that indeed, these are not your typical cemeteries.

I am fortunate to live within blocks of several of the cities of the dead and I am known to wander their paths with camera in hand at all hours of the day and night. I developed and continue to develop the "Walking in the City of the Dead" series as a thanks to those spirits that allow me to travel their paths and hope that the viewer gains some appreciation for the surreal aspects of these amazing places.

The complete image set can be found here:


New images will be added regularly as I am considering putting them into a book, so its a long term project for me. If you know anyone who would like to collaborate to produce it in book form, I'd love to speak to them.

And as always, feedback is greatly appreciated.

Best Wishes

~Grey~



Saturday, December 6, 2014

3am in the City of the Dead


We chose the most fog filled night possible to photograph in one of New Orleans Cities of the Dead. In this modern era its rare to even be able to get into a cemetery after dark. The gates are closed and locked and no one communes with the spirits until the sun rises again.

But a few months back, one of our older neighborhood cemeteries in the Central City area was given a beautiful new wrought iron fence and for some reason, from that point on, the gates were never closed again. I've wanted to photograph here before some wise city official realized the mistake and began locking it once again.

This is not a fancy, high class cemetery. Its rather run down (except for its nice new fence) and rarely is anyone interred within it anymore. It's in what would be considered a  "bad neighborhood" so at night, wise folk rarely wander its streets. But my partner and I have never been too wise and the opportunity to walk the streets of a City of the Dead in the fog was too much of a draw for us.

So we made our pilgrimage at 3am when the fog was the deepest and nothing stirred. There were no feelings of trepidation or fear. Neither of us are afraid but rather exhilarated yet peaceful to be in this place. We are reverential to the spirits that dwell within and the photos taken are sparse so that we do not overstay our welcome. We see nothing that frightens us. No classic tales of ghosts rising from the crypts around us. No floating orbs moving skittishly through the tombstones. But we are watched from every corner of the vast City and those watchers warn us that this is no place to be foolish. We are there only a short time and with the blessings of those within depart and make our way home. We may return on another night and add  to these images.


(Click the image to enlarge)