Xeper and the Art of Creation

The relationship between art and magic has always been a close one. Both deal in the act of creation; of bringing forth something from Self, and it’s not surprising that many Black Magicians are also artists, musicians, or writers of some kind. Some artists who probably aren’t involved in the occult can still provide inspiration and insight to Black Magicians. Andy Warhol is one such artist, and recently the Bull of Ombos Pylon convened and took a trip to the Blanton Museum here in Austin, to see the “By The Book” Warhol exhibit. The focus of this particular presentation of Warhol’s work was his contributions to books, and the art on display is pulled from every era of the artist’s career. Visitors would see his early work – the shoe drawings, his pre-fame illustrations for children’s books, and other whimsical pieces. One room had the artist’s famous screen tests projecting onto a wall, filling the area with black and white close up footage of many of his Factory superstars. Faces, and the preservation of those faces at a specific moment in time, were important to Warhol, and that becomes obvious looking at a retrospective of his work. The presentation of “By the Book” greets visitors with canvas after canvas, most of which seem to be filled with faces; most of which were instantly recognizable and iconic. Warhol took Polaroids to capture images of the famous people he painted, using the instant photos to create the types of silkscreened images the artist was most known for.
Warhol was interested in interesting people; in the famous and potentially famous. The artist helped exalt his Factory superstars, taking his entourage of oddball bohemians and giving them 15 minutes of fame. As Black Magicians, we find Initiatory value in preservation of the Self, of magnifying our most pure and refined essence. This is no secret to anyone on an Initiatory path, and one can find many parallels in Warhol’s work. He visually captured the essence of many of his subjects, creating a form of immortality that will live far beyond any of their lifespans. The “By the Book” exhibit is well worth viewing if one is a fan of Warhol’s work, but it also gives magicians much to consider. How we present ourselves, and what kind of permanent presence we create within the world is important always consider, and Warhol helped to cement not just his own legacy, but that of many of his subjects, and in a way more engaging  than most other artists. His portraits and films still feel fresh and immediate, helping to craft the images of people who are still alive, while preserving the those of people who are not. It is a magical act not often bridged in art.