John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Perhaps the least-weird thing about the incredible “Entheon” pagoda is that it’ll hold the spectacles of LSD inventor Albert Hofmann.
New Yorkers in search of psychedelic experiences soon may no longer need to hit up shady dudes at rock concerts. They’ll simply want to travel to the Hudson Valley, where famed visionary artist Alex Grey is building a freakish temple loaded with trippy paintings, “soul birds,” a facade of conjoined faces, panels of “unpronounceable letters,” LSD inventor Albert Hofmann’s glasses, and even the ashes of Timothy Leary.
The “Entheon” cultural space has almost doubled its funding goal on Kickstarter, clearing the way for the creation of exhibition spaces. Future funding will help Grey & Co. encrust the structure with a bizarre melange of flaming eyes, female lips, and dragons—the “one giant Godhead of many faces”—crafted by a 3D sculptor from Disney. The incredible art/spirit pagoda is scheduled to open sometime in 2017.
A realtor’s description of the three-story property is enough to challenge one’s sanity. Briefly, the front door (or “portal”) features a bronze cast of Adam and Eve plucking fruit from the “Tree of Wisdom.” Beyond is a gallery of art from international visionaries, with a “World Prayer Wheel” for visitors to spin. There’s a shrine devoted to the band Tool and a “Psychedelic Reliquary” holding those groovy ashes and spectacles.
The second floor has a room devoted to the “Chaos, Order, and Secret Writing” of Grey’s longtime partner, Allyson Grey. Also on this floor is Gaia, a massive painting Alex Grey did in the late ‘80s that eerily features two planes above the Twin Towers. Traveling up one flight will bring you to a “Chapel of Sacred Mirrors,” where visitors are encouraged to reflect on the “21 stages of the self, transforming from the physical body into pure infinite love energy and discover the creator within.”
All in all, it sounds like a must-see for anybody who wants to have their mind blown in the vicinity of Wappingers Falls, New York. Here are some more conceptual illustrations and photos from Kickstarter: