Art. It is the purest of alchemy. The secret of the Artist takes root in the fundamental of alchemy: transformation. Transformation: to change in form. Of everything the Artist does, the final major stage in his or her process is the delivery of vision into form. Like the “magnum opus” of the Alchemist, the final work of the Artist reveals a conclusion of the internal to external process of transformation. The studio within the heart and soul of the Artist is likened to the Alchemist’s laboratory: those sacred places where both the Artist and Alchemist attempt to take something that is raw, imperfect or insignificant and change it into something refined, more perfect and closer to what they desire.
To onlookers, this process is easily defined as skill, mastery of talent and dedication. However, it must be realized that there is more at work here. When a person looks at art, they must permit themselves to be open to the mission of the piece, because art can literally be anything that we want it to be. The work of art is like the potion of the Alchemist, and in order to benefit from the effects of it we must simply drink it all in, and let the art speak for itself. The soul of any work of art is present with the Artist as he or she expresses the vision into form, so if we would catch a glimpse of the real art during the life of the piece, we must first be willing to breathe it in.
An Artist can force us to look at ourselves, revealing so much grace and fortune; but also the monstrous and tragic. The Artist can teach us so many truths, about the human condition, how sacrosanct life is, and the importance of the people around us; the Artist has no dearth of possibilities for what the work of art can be used to accomplish.
The work of art represents more than itself. The work of art is more than what people interpret it to be. The work of art is more than meanings and inspiration and beauty and expression and performance. The work of art is a transformation. What was at one time a blank canvas or a clean slate, what was once a basic idea or a simple shape, what was once a work in progress or a rough draft, now is a masterpiece that resulted from a process, the journey of the Artist. We could say that this process of transformation from nothing to something was a manifestation so to speak: the work of art incarnate.
So it is this, for all intents and purposes, that I believe there really is no distinction between the Artist and the Alchemist. They are both masters of transformation at their very core. And how to best learn and discover what is at the heart of any work than by seeing the process itself? The process is as much a work of art as the piece of artwork itself. This is why I have come here with these works of art created by so many incredible Alchemists, to show you what our process has been. This is The Incarnate Process.
– Jason Allen
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