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Video Presentation - Transcendental Realism, The Art of Adi Da Samraj at 2007 BIennale di Venezia - 52nd Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition - Collateral Exhibition


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photo of Adi Da SamrajBorn on Long Island in 1939, Adi Da describes his early years as being focused in two fundamental activities: investigating how to realize truth, and developing the ability to communicate that truth through artistic means (both visual and literary).

Adi Da graduated from Columbia University in 1961 with a BA in philosophy, and from Stanford University in 1966 with an MA in English literature. His master's thesis, a study of core issues in modernism, focused on Gertrude Stein and painters of the same period. In 1964, he began a period of practice under a succession of spiritual teachers in the United States and India that culminated six years later in the conclusion of his spiritual quest.

In the years since, Adi Da has created a large body of spiritual writings-over sixty published books-and is widely recognized as one of the most significant spiritual teachers living today.

Adi Da began his first serious work in the photographic medium in the early 1960s. During the mid-60s to mid-90s, he also produced a body of drawings, paintings, and sculptural forms. Between 1998 and early 2006, he concentrated on camera-based imagery (both photographic and videographic), creating a highly complex body of work that exceeds 60,000 still images (and also includes a great many hours of videographic image-work).

Adi Da Samraj in his studioHis work in the photographic medium evolved through black-and-white to color (and combinations of the two). He relates to his photographic images as "blueprints", using them as the basis for making fabrications of many kinds. To date, these fabrications include photographic prints, pigmented ink on canvas, plasma screen installations, and multi-media screen-projected performance events-with additional forms of fabrication planned for the future. These fabricated works characteristically involve the grouping of multiple images in specific combinations and configurations.

Beginning in early 2006, Adi Da Samraj initiated a new phase in his artistic work by beginning to work entirely in the digital medium, and also by fabricating his digitally-based images principally as monumental pigmented-ink prints mounted on aluminum substructures. In some cases, this digital imagery incorporates photographic elements, while, in other cases, the imagery is generated entirely by digital means.

Adi Da Samraj states that his intention as an artist is to offer a visual communication of the truth of "reality itself"-by "allowing reality to manifest itself" in and as the "space" of his works of art.

Copyright © 2007 ASA. All rights reserved. Perpetual copyright claimed.

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