Into the Mystic: Alessandro Keegan Shares His Lucid Vision
“Our lives on Earth are only shells, bubbles floating on the surface of the water,” says Alessandro Keegan, whose mesmerizing work stems from childhood visions that were accompanied by a sensation of an electric shock.
Now grown and based in New York, the writer and art history teacher recalls these peculiar episodes as “visionary experiences,” comparing their tenor to his adult experiments with LSD and psilocybin, controlled substances he admits are far less erratic than the impromptu visions fathered by his own brain. “I honestly don’t know how to explain these occurrences, apart from them being slippages between objective reality and subjective perceptions that shouldn’t be,” he tells NOT REAL ART from his new residence in Hudson Valley. Abandoning Manhattan soon after his mother’s death in 2020, Alessandro began work on “Seraphim Cell,” a large-scale oil painting he calls his most challenging work to date. “After my mother’s death, my interest in Spiritualism and the possibility of an invisible world beyond the material realm became a stronger influence on how I thought of my art,” he says. “‘Seraphim Cell’ was made during one of the most difficult times I’ve had in recent years.”
Calling his oil painting and colored pencil drawings “one big project,” Alessandro guides viewers on a journey through strange dimensions, leading the charge through gossamer bubbles, dangling blobs, and glassy orbs that resemble eyes without irises or pupils. Alessandro cautions against literal interpretation of his work, however, noting that his paintings stem from an entire lifetime of experience and “should not be seen as illustrations of hallucinated images or pictures directly related to any particular experience.” The crystalline orbs and glassy eyes, for example, are a direct reflection of Alessandro’s stint as a gemstone grader at the Gemological Institute of America. “[That job] exposed me to the wonder of looking at gemstones under a microscope,” he says.
Resembling cellular division or tectonic plates colliding, a breathtaking gemstone microverse unfolds across Alessandro’s work, mingled with memories of the uncharted realm at the end of his telescope. “Emanations from beyond pass through us like we were glass as they radiate from one world to the next,” he remembers. “Each bead of angelic perspiration contains a reflection of the infinite.”
“Our lives on Earth are only shells, bubbles floating on the surface of the water.” — Alessandro Keegan
All photos published with permission of the artist(s).
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