The live music and festival community is a thriving culture, full of talented people from all backgrounds with different skills and talents. While a lot of emphasis is put on the music side of the festival and entertainment world, live painters and visual artists of all backgrounds vastly transform the creative community into the inspirational wonderland that we all embrace and celebrate today.
As many of the Gravitas Collective have traveled to live music events and multi-day festivals worldwide, we’ve come across an endless array of extraordinarily talented artists. The sheer amount of giftedness we’ve witnessed (and still have yet to discover) made putting together a list of our favorite visual artists a feat in itself. After a lot of thought and research, we compiled an alphabetical list of our favorite visual artists that we’ve discovered over the years.
Alex Grey does not require much of an introduction, as he is who many refer to as the godfather of psychedelic art. Alex’s work never ceases to be astonishingly intricate and accurate while depicting the human anatomy and cosmos. Beyond being an extraordinary visual artist, Alex Grey is also a thought leader for the masses as an advocate for psychedelics and co-founder of The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. Alex has collaborated with many electronic artists, as well as the influential band Tool. Alex’s work continues to inspire and transform the creative culture daily.
A deeply spiritual and exponentially talented artist, Allyson Grey is another co-founder of The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. She is married to Alex Grey and possesses a style of her own in the visionary art realm. Allyson expresses her own symbolic language in most of her work that she describes:
“In 1975 I began writing automatically in an invented or transmitted language. I do not give meaning to the symbols in my art as it is meaning that separates experience from expression. The alphabet that I use points to the notion of a sacred language beyond meaning.”
Android Jones creates unique and jaw-dropping pictorial work with emergent technologies. Android’s work explores pre-modern, modernist, and post-modernist aesthetic idioms, creating Integral Alchemy. The artist’s phenomenal work complements the psychedelic basscentric soundscapes of producer Tipper, and the two creators often join creative forces to craft unforgettably kaleidoscopic experiences.
Jason “Bild” Smith is an Austin based artist, who can be found live painting at live music events and festivals throughout Texas and beyond. The self-described Unorthodoxian Geometrist’s work commonly consists of vibrant color paintings and blocks crafted to look like crystals. Bild is also known for his insane hair art designs.
Chris Bohlin is an Austin-based cinematographer, painter, photographer, and artist extraordinaire. The talented creator can often be found at festivals and events across the nation, either painting, filming or snapping photos. In 2012 he won a RAW Artist: Independent Photographer of the year award.
Colin “Cactus Bath” is a recent Austin transplant with a serious knack for creating unique and gorgeous woodworked art. From creating phenomenal stage designs, to his latest masterpiece the Amen Break Waveform, it is vividly apparent that Cactus Bath puts his heart, soul, imagination and intelligence into every piece he creates. In addition to being an extremely talented visual artist, Cactus Bath is also a vastly skilled IDM producer.
Chance Roberts is a beacon in the austin creative community. Beyond creating vibrant and thought-provoking visual pigment manipulations, Chance puts a lot of effort into keeping the Central Texas creative community alive and thriving. Through Third Coast Visions, Create Culture and Spacelab, Chance has curated and spearheaded countless events and art exhibits throughout Central Texas and beyond.
Wanderweird’s name is a great reflection of the unique and awe-inspiring pieces of art he creates. His one-of-a-kind creations incorporate metaphysical mandalas in strange and poetic psychedelic expression. Wanderweird spent much of last festival season backpacking through US and painting at different festivals.
Dela is an incredible self taught visual artist from Baja, Mexico who now resides in San Fransisco. His work can be found at festivals across the nation, and their distinctive quality makes them impossible to not recognize. Much of Dela’s art depicts the female form in an empowering and gorgeous manner with lucid detail and backgrounds. Chances are you’ve seen one of his gorgeous pieces at a festival or two over the years.
A live painter and true visionary artist from New Jersey (but now living in North Carolina), Andy Reed has made a name for himself on the festival circuit. He has live painted with musical artists like STS9, Bonobo and Random Rab, and has had his work featured at festivals across the nation. Andy focuses on creating inspirational works of art with prismatic colors, geometric shapes, and an ancient glyphic light-language amongst organic and terrestrial conceptions.
Johnathan Singer is an experimental genius with a knack for creating innovative Video Performance Art that relates to music and pushes the boundaries of technology. Singer got his start in performing real-time multimedia light shows for the musicians he’d met while publishing a magazine entitled, “West Side Life”. Since then, he has evolved into a full time video performance artist, mixing and integrating live visionary art with video to live music.
Mars-1, born Mario Martinez, is an astonishingly gifted painter who uses superior painting techniques that result in 3-D qualities and forms. His striking works of art are truly one-of-a-kind masterpieces. In a complete league of his own with a unique style, Mars-1 can’t be compared to contemporary visual artists or artists from past movements. His work stands alone and speaks for itself.
Jesse Noemind is a visual artist who’s visionary approach is to depict a dream within a dream. His lucid works of art are psychedelic novelties for the eye to indulge in. Noemind has traveled the world to festivals and events where he shares his gifts of creation.
Melanie Bodnar is a self-taught visionary artist from Portland, Oregon and the co-founder of Enlighten Clothing. An extraordinary artist with the ability to transform the mundane into mystical, Melanie’s work is expressive, inspiring and symbolic. A staple in festival culture, Melanie and her fiance travel the country following bands and festivals, and selling her art and jewelry in their portable store Enlighten Clothing.
Michael Garfield is a man of many hats in the creative community, who creates as a visual artist, musician and writer. As a visual artist and live painter, Michael Garfield improvises and freehands paint and marker pieces that portray the intricacy of natural forms and demand the undivided attention of spectators.
Molly Gardner is a wonderfully talented painter based in Denver, Colorado. Her emotion-evoking work vibrantly depicts nature, as well as abstracted animals and backgrounds on large canvases with oils. A well-traveled live painter, Molly has co-created at inspirational events like Envision Festival, Art Outside, and STS9 shows; you’ve probably seen her work on the circuit.
Omar Chow is an Austin-based artist with a genuine talent for creating thought-provoking psychedelic images. A man of many different art forms, Omar’s main focus is acrylic paint. Omar’s style radiates unquestionably exotic geometric future-spacescapes and photorealistic paintings of crystals. His work can easily be identified by its intricately chaotic, yet intelligently refined appeal. Omar has live painted at live music events in Austin and beyond over the years.
“If it weren’t for the music bringing me in contact with so many amazing supportive people, I don’t see how I would’ve found a way to sustain a career in the arts.”
Pharo, born Tyler Ristow, is a live-painting and bass music producing Austin native. As a visual artist, Pharo creates psychedelic pieces of art that take the viewer on an imaginative journey through color and vision.
Jeremiah Allen Welch and Gabriel Welch are a two extraordinarily talented brothers and visual artists from California. The brothers were born into an artistic family and their influences of a muralist father, comics, and graffiti are all depicted in their works of art. The Welch Brothers have developed a unique form of art by seamlessly combining their individual styles into co-collaboration.
Tourmaline Todd is an Austin-based visionary artist with a keen eye for creating breathtakingly vibrant and mystical paintings. Todd’s work is vividly distinguishable, as he crafts introspective, emotion-evoking paintings that depict all aspects of nature & the cosmos. If you’ve been blessed to have seen Todd’s work in person or decorating the atmosphere of a festival, you should be well aware of how easy it is to genuinely get lost in his creations.
This list only acknowledges a fraction of the incredibly talented visual artists that sculpt the creative community today with their vision and gifts. We always love to discover new artists; if there is someone you think we should open our eyes to, please link us to their work.