LAST DAYS, an exhibition of art curated by our very own Thomas Monauni, features eleven artists--including musicians Franke “Groovie Mann” Nardiello (My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult), Jeremy Glenn Roberts, and Rafael Reyes, aka Leafar Seyer (Prayers)—who live by the motto, “Do what thou wilt.”
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law!” With these words, Aleister Crowley proclaimed a new aeon, the Age of the Child, and an end to cultures and religions based on a dying and reviving god.
Crowley founded a religion, Thelema, (the Greek word for “will”), and curator Thomas Monauni has assembled an exhibition of art created by Thelemite artists, artists whose will and self-knowledge drives them to create not only art, but to create themselves and their worlds, and to cause change to occur in accordance with their will.
“The title of Last Days comes from a work of art in the show created by Rafael Reyes. His painting clarified to me the idea that we are in the last days of the old aeon. Though Crowley wrote his prophetic words in 1904, the old aeon dies slowly, and not without a fight. We are in the struggle now. The change is happening though, and these artists are proof of it.”
While some of the artists have chosen to directly show the impact of Crowley by using images of the notorious occultist, others have created works with occult and esoteric themes, and still others, have pieces that draw on the subconscious and on their interpretation of reality.
“I didn’t want this to be a show with images of Crowley by artists who may or may not understand him or his philosophies. Instead, I wanted to showcase artists who embody the concepts Crowley espoused, most directly, ‘Love is the law, love under will; do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.’ These artists--whether initiated by the OTO, the largest worldwide Thelemic organization, or not—are Thelemites. They are doing their will,” says Monauni, who has several sculptures in the show as part of large installation, under his artistic aka, Frater V.B.N.
Frater V.B.N.’s sculptures rest in front of Michelle Ary’s Enochian table, a large magical tool used to summon angels, originally developed by Dr. John Dee, court astrologer to Elizabeth I of England. Other works include paintings by Franke “Groovie Mann” Nardiello (lead singer, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult), Jeremy Glenn Roberts, Rafael Reyes (aka Leafar Seyer, lead singer of Prayers) Michelle Albuquerque (from The Black Broom), Lisa Derrick, Tim Lacey, Lizz Lopez, and Tatomir Pitariu.
Says Monauni, “These artists are living by Thelemic principles. They have lived many lives in one lifetime, and incorporate, consciously and unconsciously, magical themes in their work. Through their art and lives, they show others how to live free from proscribed and inhibiting boundaries, how to become illuminated.”
LAST DAYS opens October 7 at the Hive, 729 S. Spring St., with an artist reception from 8pm to 11pm. The show runs through October 28.
My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult plays the Teragram Ballroom November 4.
Prayers plays the Knotfest November 5 at Glen Helen Arena, San Bernardino, and October 28 at the Bunkhouse, Las Vegas.
The following paintings by Michelle Albuquerque (Soror Æset), Franke "Groovie Mann" Nardiello, Tatomir Pitariu, and Rafael Reyes are just a few in the show: