The general theme for this project is the occult and artists who have used it to access deeper levels of creativity. For my next work I wanted to represent the flow of these magical philosophies into the contemporary world. I struggled to think of an individual who would best represent this. I thought of Jim Morrison but he died a fair while ago now and besides I'm not sure he'd have quite worked. I considered one of the Rolling Stones but they're not really "cool" enough. Mick Jagger's been knighted, FFS. And they just really annoy me. I also thought about drawing Jimmy Page but that was just too obvious--his obsession with Crowley and Thelema is well known.
Then I was walking along listening to music when Bowie's Quicksand came on. It deals with Crowleyan shit in a really crass manner but I knew immediately that Bowie had to be the subject of my next work.
The process of creating the drawing was interesting and led to a series of creepy coincidences. These coincidences have come to define this whole project and to be honest they're starting to freak me out a little. It's like I'm following a path which is being laid out before me and I have no choice in the matter. But then my whole life has pretty much felt this way.
So I didn't want to just do an obvious Bowie drawing. I knew I had to have the Aladdin Sane face in there somewhere as the flash across his face was ripe with occult meaning and he did indeed choose it for this reason. Bowie's final work was titled Black Star and the pentagram star is also rich in meaning so I decided to mix the two. I wanted to show Bowie at the height of his magical powers and then in his final guise as a man dying from cancer. I had an intense nightmare just after his death with him grimacing and laughing insanely. I wanted this horrific vision to be portrayed in the drawing.
The flash itself has many meanings within the occult. It represents the flow of energy along the sephirotic tree.
It is the proto-Germanic Sowilō rune which represents the sun. The NSDAP chose them for their sinister-looking SS logo for their occult power and meaning. Bizarrely, Bowie himself at one point professed an interest in fascism and Hitlerism and referenced this in the song Quicksand. My own recent studies in art were conducted under the "flash" banner as I carried a Throbbing Gristle symbol to all my first lessons.
The "black star" pentagram has many obvious uses within the occult. Most goths will flash it around liberally for this reason and it has ties to modern Wicca. It was first recorded in ancient Sumerian texts and Pythagoreans used it to identify themselves. Pythagoras was heavily into magic and his ideas formed the basis of scientific inquiry right into the modern era. Newton was obsessed with hermetica and the birth of NASA was entwined with the story of Crowleyan magick and ritual. Google Jack Parsons.
Anyway this could all be getting a bit boring and obscure. Not that anyone actually reads this blog.
I've just finished the drawing and I was reading a little about pentagrams when I realised that the founder of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey's, sigil of Baphomet was a pentagram with a flash within it. Which is basically represented within my drawing with Bowie's face and flash inside the black star. Just before this I was immersed in Baphomet symbology as my previous drawing was Baphairy, a Baphomet/Clefairy mashup. It's all starting to link up in a wonderfully elegant and cosmic fashion.
I'm not totally happy with the drawing but then I'm never happy with any of my stuff. I'm a tortured artist after all. And I definitely wouldn't have this on my wall. No way. Wait, what am I saying? I'm trying to sell art prints of these mofos. I've got to start being more positive and upbeat, man.