Statement of intent:
"Art is an outgrowth of the shamanic practices of our ancestors. The series of thoughts and actions one uses to arrive at visual or conceptual conclusions is known today as the “creative process”. This method is actually nothing more than the evolution of a deep-seated and mystic craft used to conjure and portend thoughts and images.
At times, it becomes necessary for the shaman to gain access to the spirit world, whether it be through deep, transcendental meditation, hypnagogic premonition, or psychedelic hallucination. Twentieth century occultist Kenneth Grant theorized the idea of bestial mysticism and he felt that some of the world’s greatest sorcerers, writers, and artists knew this type of shamanic transformation well. French poet and mystic Arthur Rimbaud stated that one “…makes himself into a seer by a long, tremendous and reasoned derangement of the senses." Artists often enter a trance state wherein long stretches of time pass by unnoticed and they become “lost” in their work. This transformative period of atavism is at the heart of Le Mystère Lycanthropique, wherein the basest primal instincts surge forth to conjure thought and image that might otherwise be unattainable.
My new work hopes to capture, visually, the artists’ bestial and shamanic journey through creativity and divination. The idea of the artist as shaman is nothing new, but in today’s world of technological and social disconnect, I feel that many have attempted to demystify the artistic practice. A faltering sense of wonder about the workings of the cosmos and a loss of identity with our spiritual progenitors is perhaps one of the greatest casualties of the digital age."
-Johnny Decker Miller 2012