Several years ago, I had an opportunity to do art history talks for wealthy clients of a well known national bank. During the meeting to discuss the lecture program, my contact told me not to talk about anything "spiritual." Presumably, she didn't want the bank to be perceived as an institution sponsoring anything remotely “new age.” The problem was, my entire approach to art and art history is that human creativity is intrinsically spiritual. Faced with compromise, I flatly turned that opportunity down.
During the Modernist period of the 20th century and beyond, aesthetic values rooted in beauty, truth, and the sacred became outmoded. I admire many artists from this period, but isn't there room for all of it? To my complete delight, I just learned that the Minneapolis Institute of Art has curated a show called “Supernatural America: The Paranormal in American Art,” celebrating artists who “embrace the mysterious and inexplicable.” This show runs through May 2022 and can be enjoyed online at: new.artsmia.org. Often, artists turn to their own mystical experience in times of trauma as subjects for their art. "Universal Home," graphite and mica on paper, is a part of a series of drawings on “Loss of Home” which I did as an expression of personal losses. The composition is based on a vision I experienced. It features a woman levitating over the Great Pyramid. On her torso is a Reiki symbol used in meditation, invoking the power of words to manifest our desires in life. Prints of this drawing can be obtained at: https://www.deniselaurinvisualart.com/purchase-art?pgid=ku3appn2-0f8a3c0d-99c5-4e8c-8e49-d3b6b035ae44