Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It was an exceptional night indeed…the L.A. Visionary Art Party at Club 740, in downtown Los Angeles, July 18th of this year. I met up with my son, Chet Zar and his two friends, Chris and Federico (we’re fast becoming the Four Musketeers who attend various art shows).

Club 740 is an awesome space; it looks like an old, ornate balcony structured theatre that was maybe constructed in the 30’s or 40’s.

The arriving guests gave me the feeling of participating in a costume ball based on the Arabian Nights. There were young men with muscular arms, young women with beautiful body illustrations, and some of the women serving at the buffet were dressed like belly dancers. I just loved it; it looked as if some of my painting characters had come to life and were visiting me in a festive dream sequence!

Alex Grey and his wife, Allyson, showed up about 9:00 and were busy setting up the stage where the talented guest artists would paint throughout the night against the background throb of delicious recorded music which was amplified throughout the theatre’s inner sanctuary

My son, Chet, introduced me to Alex (who is probably the foremost ambassador of the visionary art movement) along with his beautiful and talented wife Allyson. They are both great painters. Alex is also the author of the book, “The Mission of Art”. While attending the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 60’s I studied art history and I must say with frank sincerity that Alex’s book is the most important investigation into art as the expression of higher consciousness that I have ever read. I found the couple to be warm, down to earth people…in fact everyone there that night seemed aglow with a friendly, fun loving attitude.

My son, Chet, gave a moving talk about his motives for following the passion of his art - I had to laugh to myself, remembering how my wife and I had watched him as a little kid, constructing outrageous inventions, drawing incredible monsters and now here he is a famous visionary artist talking to a huge audience about his work and life. And what a life it is!

As the night wore on and the various guest artists gave talks about their work I found myself joking and talking to a great guy, who it turns out was Adam Jones lead guitarist for Tool. Adam told me he had first met Chet on an FX movie set.

When the talks ended, the artists began their live painting performances (which went on until four in the morning). Wild dancing and painting continued the entire night and it was magical!

Many thanks to all those who made this fun, informative night possible. And as for the great photos, thank you Michele Marlo and Michele Wortman (I hope I’ve spelled the names correctly because they do such outstanding work - including the above photo of Chet, Alex and me).