Praise for Avatar Adi Da's Artwork


Michel Karman (master printer)
Jan Taylor (professor)
David Hanson (professor)
Dean Foster (artist and graphic designer)
Alex Grey (artist and author)

* * *

The experience of Adi Da Samraj's work is not photographic in the traditional sense. Yes, the camera has a lens—that is its point of view, its point of you. But suppose the point of you disappears, for a sixtieth of a second. What happens?

His photography is about the time it takes for you to discover, to walk through, to lose balance in, the intrinsic architecture of his frames. Like music, it requires time.

The "instants" recorded by Adi Da Samraj are the clicks of a train leaving the station of the familiar. As you travel with him, you might lose yourself in the midst of blacks, of grays, of whites; and as you do this, you will recognize the space of his images as one of your own. The center has shifted. You are in the "bright room". We always were.

Michel Karman
master printer, A&I/xibit
back to top

* * *

Looking at this work, it seems to become possible again to raise the issue of an identity between truth and beauty, without the embarrassment this might normally cause in what we like to think of as a hardheaded and realistic age. This beauty is not seducing us into any kind of sentimentality or escapism, but is demonstrating its power to undo our ordinary objective thinking and to confront us with a sense of awe and mystery.

I can sum up the total effect this work has had on me in terms of a comparison with brilliant and warming sunshine flooding over the predominantly bleak landscape of contemporary culture, bringing with it a positive sense of release from the confusion and anxiety engendered within this environment. Adi Da Samraj has given us a new vision of what is possible with photography.

Jan Taylor
Professor of Art History (retired),
Queen's University (Belfast)
back to top

* * *

Adi Da's work breaks the traditional rules and conventions of standard photographic practice—not as a formalist exercise or to participate in the (conventional) games of the avant-garde, but rather as a means of creating true visionary art. There is in this work a refreshing sense of play, of experimentation, of pushing the medium to communicate the ineffable. Alchemical transformations are at work here.

I see these images as dreamscapes, as manifested ecstatic visions, as rich mythologies intricately weaving together the world and the Transcendent. Glimpses into a mysterious, enchanted world, these transformative visions are an answer to the question of how one might create a truly sacred art in our time.

In stark contrast to the cynicism that dominates much contemporary art, Adi Da's art is a deeply generous and compassionate gift to its viewers. Through his artwork, Adi Da is redefining the nature of art, returning art to its ancient, sacred origins. In his remarkable, transformative artwork, viewers are being given an opportunity to experience the ecstatic unity of creation. His images offer a truly rare opportunity for revelation.

David T. Hanson
Professor of Photography (retired)
Rhode Island School of Design
back to top

* * *

Whether you are looking at a landscape or closeup of a woman's face, Adi Da's rich and subtle black & white photos speak volumes about the human condition. His spontaneous and masterful use of in-camera multi-exposure allows his subjects to dissolve into luminescence or to cubistically shatter apart. In particular, his series "The Virgin Suite" literally moved me to tears. All non-essentials have been removed, except for three naked humans and a chair and ladder in a bare white room with an open skylight. Adi Da has stripped away all pretense from his subjects, as he leads them through a stunningly composed dance of longing, ecstasy, and pain of separation. His pictures of people are vulnerable, warm, and smooth, exuding an ethereal vitality that, combined with an exquisite sense of composition and a deep love of his subject, cross the boundaries of mere design into Great Art.

Dean Foster
artist and graphic designer,
Industrial Light and Magic
back to top

* * *

Adi Da's photographic art explores an exciting new way of being through seeing!

Alex Grey
artist, author of Transfigurations
back to top

< back