LAST DAYS, an exhibition of art curated by Thomas Monauni, features eleven artists–including musicians Franke “Groovie Man” Nardiello (My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult), Jeremy Glenn Roberts (founding member, My Morning Jacket), and Rafael Reyes, aka Leafar Seyer (Prayers)-who live by the motto, “Do what thou wilt” opens at The Hive Gallery on Saturday October 7th.
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law!” With these words, Aleister Crowley proclaimed a new aeon, the Age of the Child, and an end to cultures and religions based on a dying and reviving god.
Crowley founded a religion, Thelema, (the Greek word for “will”), and curator Thomas Monauni has assembled an exhibition of art created by Thelemite artists, artists whose will and self-knowledge drives them to create not only art, but to create themselves and their worlds, and to cause change to occur in accordance with their will.
“The title of Last Days comes from a work of art in the show created by Rafael Reyes. His painting clarified to me the idea that we are in the last days of the old aeon. Though Crowley wrote his prophetic words in 1904, the old aeon dies slowly, and not without a fight. We are in the struggle now. The change is happening though, and these artists are proof of it.”
While some of the artists have chosen to directly show the impact of Crowley by using images of the notorious occultist, others have created works with occult and esoteric themes, and still others, have pieces that draw on the subconscious and on their interpretation of reality.
“I didn’t want this to be a show with images of Crowley by artists who may or may not understand him or his philosophies. Instead, I wanted to showcase artists who embody the concepts Crowley espoused, most directly, ‘Love is the law, love under will; do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.’ These artists–whether initiated by the OTO, the largest worldwide Thelemic organization, or not-are Thelemites. They are doing their will,”
says Monauni, who has several sculptures in the show as part of large installation, under his artistic aka, Frater V.B.N.
Frater V.B.N.’s sculptures rest in front of Michelle Ary’s Enochian table, a large magical tool used to summon angels, originally developed by Dr. John Dee, court astrologer to Elizabeth I of England. Other works include paintings by Franke “Groovie Man” Nardiello (lead singer, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult), Jeremy Glenn Roberts (a founding member of My Morning Jacket), Rafael Reyes (aka Leafar Seyer, lead singer of Prayers) Michelle Albuquerque, Shelley Brien, Lisa Derrick, Tim Lacey, Lizz Lopez, and Tatomir Piariu.
“These artists are living by Thelemic principles. They have lived many lives in one lifetime, and incorporate, consciously and unconsciously, magical themes in their work. Through their art and lives, they show others how to live free from proscribed and inhibiting boundaries, how to become illuminated.”
- My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult plays the Teragram Ballroom November 4
- Prayers plays the NotsFestival November 5 at Glen Helen Arena, San Bernardino, and October 28 at the Bunkhouse, Las Vegas.
The Hive Gallery
729 S. Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Saturday October 7th (8pm – 11pm)
Top image is artwork “Last Days” by Rafael Reyes . Images provided by Lisa Derrick