The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors is a New York City art gallery
and the subject of Nick Krasnic
's first feature length documentary
. CoSM was founded in 2004 by the artist Alex Grey
and his wife, Allyson Grey
, also an artist. The Sacred Mirrors refer to a series of paintings by Alex Grey that are housed within the art gallery. Located in the heart of New York City's Chelsea district, CoSM is a nontraditional space that can best be described as an artistic community that likely serves as a welcome respite from the trendy art scene cynicism. Programs include lectures, films and "live paintings."
Krasnic initially became interested in Alex Grey after picking up one of his books years ago. Grey was a medical illustrator for ten years before becoming widely recognized as a mystical artist. Perhaps best known for the album cover art he's done for musicians such as David Byrne, the Beastie Boys and Nirvana, Grey creates colorfully surreal and elaborate paintings that depict the internal human form complete with veins, muscles, organs, and yes, even chakras.
With the aid of Final Cut Pro and a modest budget of around $15,000, Nick Krasnic was inspired to create something experiential. He believes that the visceral experience of viewing the art work is tantamount to dissecting the artistic process. He was not interested in producing a formulaic art history documentary; rather, the director was inspired by a tour of Grey's work conducted by the artist himself in 2003.
The ambition of the documentary is to enact the intended experience of CoSM. Krasnic aims to create a "direct experience of what it's physically like to stand in front of these intensely radiant works." Admittedly, Krasnic is not objective about his chosen subject matter. He wants the architecture of the film to mimic the architecture of the space and hopes to lead the viewer on a journey throughout the rooms and paintings.
I admired the openness of the director throughout the interview and found his honesty refreshing. What's more, he's able to talk about love, compassion and interconnectedness without the slightest hint of irony. Nick even said that hallucinogenic mushrooms helped him decide on the best ambient music for the soundtrack. Now how many directors would openly admit to that?
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