Love him or loathe him, there's no question that Aleister Crowley has had a huge impact on the esoteric world. Though best known as a writer, ceremonialist, and highly controversial and influential occult leader, he also dabbled in visual arts. Australian readers can currently see some of this work in "The Nightmare Paintings: Aleister Crowley" up now at Buratti Fine Art through February 28th, 2013:
The Nightmare Paintings: Aleister Crowley
is a rare exhibition of original paintings and works on paper created
by the artist during his period at the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu
Sicily, 1920 - 1923.
Previously exhibited as part of the Traces du Sacred exhibition at the Pompidou Centre and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, it comprises work from Crowley's three areas of focus: portraiture, landscape and magical or trance paintings, providing a rare glimpse into Crowley's most active period as a painter and an insight into the unique ideas which have long remained ignored by the mainstream art establishment.
With curatorial support from Marco Pasi (Amsterdam University) and Giuseppe Di Liberti (Palermo University, Sicily), The Nightmare Paintings is presented in Australia by Buratti Fine Art and will tour Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.
Though I'd describe his artistic skill as enthusiastic at best, these works are nonetheless fascinating artifacts from Crowley's dense interior landscape.