Raised in an artistic family, the tools for creative expression were a familiar part of my world. As a child, drawing gave me playful access to the exciting contents of fantasy and imagination. This playful communion with fantasy would later mature into the creative exploration of the patterns of my soul, and the celebration of the forces of life.My childhood preoccupation with dreams and imaginal worlds would soon lead me to the masters of imaginative painting. But it wasn't mere "fantasy" art that would call to me, but an art with a particular revelatory power...
Raised in an artistic family, the tools for creative expression were a familiar part of my world. As a child, drawing gave me playful access to the exciting contents of fantasy and imagination. This playful communion with fantasy would later mature into the creative exploration of the patterns of my soul, and the celebration of the forces of life. My childhood preoccupation with dreams and imaginal worlds would soon lead me to the masters of imaginative painting. But it wasn't mere "fantasy" art that would call to me, but an art with a particular revelatory power. I longed for an art that would contemplate the jewel of wisdom hidden within and reveal the glory and mystery of being, an art sublimed with grace and beauty, subtle, yet profoundly ecstatic and mythically bold in its declaration. The augurs of this revelatory art that would initially inspire my imagination would be found within the visionary and mystical art traditions and disseminated within the movements of Symbolism, Art Nouveau, Surrealism and Fantastic Art. As a young teenager it was Dali's "Nuclear Mysticism" that first captivated my imagination, then followed by the preeminent work of Ernst Fuchs, William Blake and the mystical idealism of Jean Delville. And later as a young adult, the creative eye of my soul marveled at the prodigious possibilities brought forth by the ominous visions of H.R. Giger, the crystalline vistas of Robert Venosa and the transparent transfigurations of Alex Grey. The kinship I felt with these artists gave me the conviction and hope that was vital during the initial development of my artistic skills and vision. Their mastery of technique combined with a clear and unique vision was certainly a prime motivating force. Above all, these revelatory artists, as well as many others, inspired my faith in the possibilities of what is yet to come in the art of the soul and spirit.
My early interest in all things arcane and mystical arose from my sensitivity for synchronistic experiences and profound vivid dreams, which in turn lead me to question our common perceptions of reality, imagination and being. I found myself drawn to various esoteric subjects ranging from comparative religion and mythology to Jungian psychology, alchemical and tantric symbolism, exotic physics and the frontiers of consciousness and dream research. But it was these unique dream experiences that would awaken an undeniable call to devote myself to the development of a numinous artistic vision. A new beginning in my creative journey arose after a series of peak dream experiences that culminated at the age of nineteen. These "supernatural events of the soul" comprised of out-of-body experiences and lucid "waking" dreams, some of which involved brief encounters with mysterious adepts or messengers. On three occasions during my lucid dream practice I awoke enveloped in a fiercely radiant golden light, moving rapidly towards its blazing white center. Upon opening my eyes, I felt what could only be described as a sense of being reborn. Everything around me looked new, and I felt this wonderful sense of peace and clarity that would last for months. Whether real or illusory, these experiences inspired in me an acute sense of the astonishing miraculousness of everything. To this day I feel that somehow these experiences may have caused an acceleration in the progress of my artwork. Perhaps this leap in my artistic ability was the result of my newfound focus and devotion, but what was unfolding was an imagery that would be the basis of my work today. Many years later, it would be the entheogenic experience that would recharge my inspired reverence for the ecstatic visionary possibilities of the imagination. I would come to view my drawings after this period as mystical love poems to the soul. I would often relate to the female figures of my artwork as dakini messengers or as an anima mediatrix to the dimensions within, the projected mirror of the soul. For me, drawing and painting became soul-crafting. The imagery began to develop the quality of a revived Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic, or rather a contemporary sacred symbolism with a predominant emphasis on the eternal feminine. I began to master the airbrush which allowed me to create a sculptural photographic look with incredible subtlety. It also allowed me to refine values and design with an almost unconscious immediacy that balanced well with my controlled conscious intent. My approach to the creative process is always a fine balance between order and chaos. Feeling the need to contribute transformative images of beauty to the collective imagination, my imagery would develope an implicit antithesis to H. R. Giger's artwork. I felt driven to show in my work the liberation of the body and soul out of the dark depths of decay and perverse eroticism. By sublimating the erotic towards an angelic sensuality and by using ascension and rebirth symbolism, a sacred eros would emerge as the predominant theme of my work. Not the erotic as simply the sexual, but as our bodily communion with the living flow and rhythms of energy. I can feel this primordial living energy flow through me as I paint, forming into the sensual movement of a transfiguring biosophic flame that flows through and around the figures in my imagery, suspending them in an ecstatic moment, an eternal dance poised on the threshold of a new birth. It is the archetypal dance of the sphere and the serpentine movement of form. The dance of the spermatozoa and the ovum, the serpent and the egg, the dragon and the pearl and the life giving waters of the comet and the sacred ground of the earth.
Like Norman Rockwell, Seuss personally created every rough sketch, preliminary drawing, final line drawing and finished work for each page of every project he illustrated. Despite the technical and budgetary limitations of color printing during the early and mid-twentieth century, Dr. Seuss the artist was meticulous about color selection. He created specially numbered color charts and elaborate color call-outs to precisely accomplish his vision for each book. Saturated reds and blues, for example, were carefully chosen for The Cat in the Hat to attract and maintain the visual attention of a six-year-old audience. By the time Seuss’s book career took off, sharp draftsman skills were evident in drawings. His ability to move a storyline ahead via illustrations filled with tension, movement and color became a hallmark component of his work, and the surreal images that unfolded over six decades became the catalyst for a humorous and inspired learning experience.
Artist Leo Rijn, the inaugural sculptor for the Dr. Seuss Tribute Collection I, was selected to launch this project due to his prized work with some of today’s top talent in the world of film, entertainment and the visual arts (including Tim Burton, Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg). Rijn has been identified as one of today’s brightest sculpting talents because of his ability to breathe life into the written word and successfully transform two-dimensional ideas into three-dimensional works of art. Universal Studios commissioned Leo to develop and oversee the creation of numerous maquette scale models for the Monumental Dr. Seuss Sculptures at Seuss Landing in Orlando, Florida. Leo was instrumental in the art direction for many of the sculpted characters and buildings now on display at this permanent Seuss attraction. His strikingly accurate Seuss works embody a masterful and intuitive Seussian sensibility, establishing him as a leading talent in interpretive sculpting.
Seuss embarked on an ingenious project in the early 1930s as he evolved from two-dimensional artworks to three-dimensional sculptures. What was most unusual for these mixed-media sculptures was the use of real animal parts including beaks, antlers and horns from deceased Forest Park Zoo animals where Seuss’s father was superintendent. Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy was born in a cramped New York apartment and included a menagerie of inventive creatures with names like the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” “Andulovian Grackler,” and “Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn.” Shortly after Seuss created this unique collection of artworks, Look Magazine dubbed Seuss “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” To this day, Seuss’s Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy remains as some of the finest examples of his inventive and multi-dimensional creativity.
Illustrator by day, surrealist by night, Seuss created a body of irrepressible work that redefines this American icon as an iconographic American artist. Yet, the Secret Art often shows a side of the artist that most readers, familiar with him through his classic children’s books, have never seen. This collection, created over a period of more than 60 years, encompasses the entirety of Seuss’s multi-dimensional talent. The artistic golden thread highlighted throughout this collection is apparent in each wildly imaginative and surreal Secret Art image. The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss is an inimitable collection of artworks created at night for his own personal enjoyment. These works were rarely, if ever, exhibited during his lifetime and provide a deeper glimpse into the art and life of this celebrated American Icon.