pen on paper
1978 - 260 x 180 mm

The titles of these two works are in fact word-plays in Flemish. I always loved word-plays. When translated, Grand-Vizier or Vezir-i Azam refers to the highest Minister of the Ottoman Empire, the one who held the seal of the Empire. This interpretation of the title is influenced by Pink Floyd's Nick Mason's 'The Grand Vizier's Garden Party' from the album Umma Gumma (which I have always loved and consider to be their best) . In Flemish, vizier also means the optical aids that help to point a gun to its target. This usually narrows view, and a grand vizier would be the same very detailed focusing device but then wide-angled, which is to me a symbol of expanded consciousness. Which is what these drawings, and many other that would follow, are all about.

Some people consider these works as trippy. And because of my musical background they are convinced these are LSD visions. They do resemble a non-colour trip, yes, but I've always been aware of these shapes. Believe it or not, but whilst I was a member of Shub Niggurath I never tripped or smoked marihuana or hash. I never smoked tobacco either, but loved wine.
I could simply go outside and look at the stars and feel a deep, deep link between myself and the universe. Or look at someone and see them covered with a kind of tattoo's. And later, when the music was over and the lights had been turned on, the melodies and dissonants manifested themselves more and more as shapes like the ones you see in many of my works.

Did I take LSD or not? Yes, once. In 1978. I may describe this later on, somewhere on the blog (I wrote this in August 2013) but suffice it to say that the guides were too scared to let me fly and to me it was a home-coming as I was familiar with what I saw and experienced, the only difference being the more intense level as the immediate-needs & common-sense brain worked even less than normal. And that it was a beautiful experience, despite the thou shalt nots of the guides (look into precious stones, mirrors, crystals,...)
It is typical for me not to have repeated the experience as I thought that when it's possible to achieve this with chemical aid, it must also be possible to achieve it with desire and the force of imagination. This is a slower and a more difficult way, but in the long run, my opinion of course, a more rewarding one. I compare it to climbing the Mount Everest or taking a helicopter to arrive at the summit. Which in turn does not mean I do not believe in the work of many shamans using ayahuasca to heal, or the use of lsd in psychiatry, or simply to produce altered states. They can perform miracles with people who have an atrophied sense of meaning. But meaning doesn't incite to action and evolution, to grasping or to explore. So spirituality? No. That, to me, is a long, difficult and rewarding climb. Not a helicopter trip.