written by Philipp Vogt
Of all contemporary art none has managed to touch me as much as the one of Cameron Gray has.
I came across his digital artworks browsing the web during an Ayahuasca experience in Brazil, and it touched my soul. It felt as if somebody had portrayed my insides, something I had never felt before with contemporary visual art. Looking at Cameron’s works puts my mind to rest.
Still from Brazil I shot Cameron an email saying that I’d be honored to interview him for WITNESS THIS.
I’m proud and grateful to be able to announce here today that he liked my proposal.
In his works Cameron shows us the world behind the material world. The conquest of the subconscious, cosmic geometry, the relationship of mankind and nature, solitude and friendship, and above all – universal peace and love are the recurring elements in his art. Cameron manages to lay these out on a scale of visionary detail and precision that leaves you speechless. (For the best experience I recommend clicking on the images to witness the highest resolution.)
In some of his pieces he can get quite dark but even then he always remains reassuring. There is always an element of oneness, and connection. The duality of the Yin-Yang is everywhere.
No death without life.
No doubt without truth.
No knowledge without the unknown.
No completeness without infinity.
No loneliness without company.
Read what the man himself had to say, and enjoy his mind-blowing works below.
And should you ever feel afraid again, or alone, just remind yourself:
eventually, when everything else is stripped away, there’s nothing left in this universe but love, and a hummingbird.
“Think back through all your most powerful moments and memories in life and rarely you’ll find the memory is in an object, it’s in the experience you had and the beings you shared it with.”
WT: Cameron, your art is visionary. A rare gift. What’s the source of inspiration for it?
CG: I’m inspired by many things, mostly my experiences in life, I don’t draw from one single source of inspiration but a combination of many experiences and sensory stimulations. I’m fascinated with the connection between all things and integrating these concepts into my work. I enjoy exploring emotional atmospheres, I find the work I do is quite emotionally driven and it serves as a kind of compass when creating. Rather than aiming to create a piece of work that “looks” a certain way, I’m guided by creating art that “feels” a certain way.
I also explore a lot of music and collaborate with various kinds of musicians in a range of genres from alternative rock, electronic, shoegaze, post rock, heavy metal and djent bands. I find a lot of inspiration in the music I listen to, I’m constantly on the lookout for music that makes the hairs on your arms stand up and you get that rush of endorphins flowing through your body. I’ve dissected every Mastodon and Karnivool song over the years. I get obsessed with particular parts of a song and will listen to it over and over, pulling each section apart and feeding from it. I often weave lyrics into hidden details of my work that I have a connection with.
WT: Are you spiritual? If yes, what do you believe in?
CG: I’m a spiritual person by nature, but I feel the term gets mis-represented a lot. I’m not religious but I understand why people are. I often find people get being spiritual confused with being religious. I’m spiritual in the sense that I’m guided by the ultimate source of being and life. Globally we focus too much on obtaining material possessions instead of obtaining and sharing experiences and this creates a lot of tension and dissatisfaction in the world. Think back through all your most powerful moments and memories in life and rarely you’ll find the memory is in an object, it’s in the experience you had and the beings you shared it with. That is what I believe in, obtaining meaningful experiences that allow me to grow and be grateful for my existence.
WT: I understand your art is digital. Can you let me in on the techniques you use?
CG: Yeah sure, my techniques have changed quite a bit in the past 13 or so years, I still incorporate a lot of the basics of what attracted me to creating art digitally, but I’m always learning and looking for new ways to realise my vision. I don’t use any one particular tool to create my work but Photoshop is at the core of where I compose my art. So imagine Photoshop as the trunk of the tree and then branching out from there are all the other tools, techniques & software that I incorporate into my workflow. I’ve been lucky to become friends with owners of cutting edge software companies and they will often consult with me about how a certain workflow would could be better utilised.
WT: How does it come together and how long do you work on a piece?
CG: Well, this has changed quite a lot as well. When I first started creating, an average piece took me maybe 8 hours to complete, nowadays it takes on average around 6-8 weeks to complete with a lot of planning before I even begin the piece. I don’t feel any pressure to release work before it’s ready so I can comfortably spend 2 months working on a piece before anyone sees it. I’m a big fan of Android Jones and am constantly in awe of his ability to create his art in front of an audience. He gets a lot of recognition for his artwork but I feel he doesn’t get the praise he deserves for his ability to create live art.
WT: If you could give ONE advice to young artists – what would it be?
CG: Really you just need to do what you love. No matter what it is. As long as you’re creating the work that YOU want to create then you’ll know you’re on the right path. I work less and less on commissions nowadays because I’ve found that my most successful work has all been something I created for myself first instead of a client. I work best when I have a lot of freedom to follow my own vision and those pieces have had the most impact and best reception. With commissions everyone has their idea of what they want and then pile that onto the guy who has to actually make it, it can get messy and over analysed and the integrity of the rawness and spirit of creation gets lost. There are clients I continue to work with because I have a strong relationship with them and they understand how I work, but I have no problem saying no to a clients proposal if I don’t 100% connect with what they do. As a young artist you will eventually develop that confidence in yourself. Saying no to things and people you don’t feel a connection with is a very freeing feeling.
WT: I connect on so many levels with what you are doing… it’s f*k*n incredible. Forever grateful for your art. Thanks.
CG: Thanks heaps for the kind words, mate.