The term visionary art is loosely said here and there in conversation, it's made into facebook groups, it's sprinkled over new artwork like its the golden goose keyword of an emerging artist in the 21st century to have. Visionary art is now in toe with sacred geometry and psychedelics.
So what really is "visionary art?" Isn't all artwork "visionary" by default? I chuckle here because it's true. Any piece of artwork has to first be envisioned in someone's mind before hand. Alex grey wrote, "The artist’s mission is to make the soul perceptible. Our scientific, materialist culture trains us to develop the eyes of outer perception. Visionary art encourages the development of our inner sight. To find the visionary realm, we use the intuitive inner eye: The eye of contemplation; the eye of the soul. All the inspiring ideas we have as artists originate here." (1)
While I agree with Mr.Grey, the little person in the back of my head that questions everything is jumping up and down because it has a very big question. While these questions about terms may be just semantics, and maybe the whole idea of the visionary art movement is to move past labels, I still must beg the question of what separates visionary art from just "regular art?"
I've found that for artwork to be considered visionary it has to build some form of bridge between the etheric and physical plane, and having some sort of inclusion to sacred geometry is a big plus. However, I would say most artwork aims to include the nonphysical, mental, etheric world. Some, of course, do that better than others. Is fantasy art not visionary? Are dragons and elves less visionary than spirals and mathematics? What about abstract art? On the molecular level all particles in existence look like an abstract painting. Even tears have a specific arrangement depending on their cause. (2) What about expressionism? Who is to say that on another dimension, there is not a world that looks like that? Who is to say there are no blue elephants, or purple cows or flying horses? So what differentiates between fantasy vs. visionary art? Is it purely psychedelic inspiration? Is the artist who has a more open third eye chakra more visionary than the artist who knows nothing of chakras or meridians but purely paints from his heart and the visions of his dreams?
Oh man, I've really dived deep here. However, I'm going to keep going. I won't be offended if you go to the surface to catch your breath, I'll be with you in a moment...
On closer inspection, I see visionary art as art that breaks away from tradition. It's in a whole new ball game of it's own. It includes all the ideas of the new age movement which by default tend to exclude the traditional thought about the afterlife, judgement, god, and our purpose here on earth. It's aim is to bring awareness where their once was none. So maybe visionary art can include other artworks like the mystical, fantastical and surrealist artwork. Maybe it's just a parent term that blankets over anything which brings the onlooker to look inside themselves, to question, and to bring higher levels of awareness.
Sacred geometry, for example, is a very interesting subject once you look into it. It is amazing how everything is connected by mathematical principals. It's also amazing how this was never taught at school. I feel like geometry class would of been a hell of a lot more interesting if I knew it was tied to nature and even to myself. I laugh as I remember falling asleep in geometry class every other day in high school. I could never get myself to want to write paragraphs about hexagons, triangles and circles. Who could blame me. I suppose my real frustration with visionary art stems from people slapping a flower of life symbol on a persons forehead and calling it "visionary art." I feel it deserves more credit, and more thought than that.
Eventually our visionary art will become outdated, and new art will emerge at the forefront of our collective mind. It's difficult to imagine that. What could be even more unique than visionary art? I could be wrong, maybe the visionary art of our time will stay as a static example of the progress in thought our collective mind's achieved. Just as the era of the 60s will never really die, the art of our times will remain as a stepping stone to higher levels of awareness that the future will thank us for.
sources: 1) http://alexgrey.com/media/writing/essays/what-is-visionary-art/
3) Image : http://www.vagallery.com art byMartin Georg Oscity