Monday, May 25, 2009


Who is Maestro Gaxiola:
Art as Religion:

In the days following my return from this trip I knew something had changed, I was uneasy and troubled. Then one night I had a vision. I was standing in the middle of a redwood forest when suddenly the earth shook and the sky turned a bright white, there was a roar of thunder and an intense shaft of orange light flashed from above and entered my body. And for the first time in my life as a painter I understood the true meaning of art as a religion.

I realized that for all my preaching about art as a religion I did not understand its true meaning and that I was not leading the life of a true religious. I took a hard look at my life as a painter and realized I had lost my way. I had started out strong but because of what I had conceived as limited "success" I become complacent and undisciplined.

So I set out to remedy the situation. I began by digging out all my old journals and writings that I had done over the past forty-five years. To my surprise I found within those writings many things of such a profound nature I scarcely believed I had written them myself. I virtually knew not what I had written until now, now that I had a new understanding of what art as a religion really meant.

So for the next few months I copied many of the more relavent passages and aphorisms and compiled them into a book I called, The Book of Art. I then started a live weekly reading from the Book of Art on Youtube.

The readings continue as of this writing. I am now planning a second season of readings that should start in October, 2009. I continue to study about monasteries and the monastic life, particularly about the Shoaling monasteries in China and the Shinto monasteries in Japan.

I will turn 73 this year and when I read about the zen masters who are in their eighties and nineties who continue to discipline themselves both mentally and physically I am inspired to expand my definition of what an artist, a true artist, is and must do. I now realize that just painting is not enough. A true artist must have a balance of strength and wisdom practiced in a religious environment. To that end I dedicate the rest of my life. It is my desire, it is my goal. To learn more go to: