News


Summer, 2017

This summer I spent two wonderful weeks at Star & Snake artist residency, (Center Harbor, NH) which was designed for artists who are also occultists. Here I am in the Kali Room with Karin Webb, Janaka Stucky, and our lovely hosts K Lenore Siner, and Natan Alexander. Photo by Adam One, who was also a resident. I got a great start on two triptychs of Paula as Venus, and I will post them in the Paintings section of my website when they are complete.



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Spring, 2017

The new issue of The Fenris Wolf includes an article I wrote titled "The American Occult Revival in my Work", in which I unpack how my research into Midwestern 19th century occultism informs my painting and related magickal practices.

Other topics include Sigmund Freud and the Occult, Art as Alchemy, the art of John Balance, Cut-Ups as a magical and psychoanalytic tool, Maori shamanism within therapy, Animistic art, Dance as ritual, Androgynous aspects in Austin Osman Spare's art, Salvador Dali's meeting with Jacques Lacan, Rebis, the Double Being, David Bowie's Non-Human Effect, similarities between ritual magic and psychoanalysis, and much more.

Various authors include Robert Ansel, Vanessa Sinclair, Gary Lachman, Derek M Elmore, Fred Yee, Katy Bohinc, etc.

Of course Carl Abrahamsson of Trapart Books has options:




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October 22, 2016

The first issue of ViaOmega Magazine includes my painting Ishtar.


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July 25, 2016

Nice article about my current Etidorhpa project on Soapbox Media.

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March 21, 2016

Proud to receive my second Curtis G. Lloyd Fellowship from the Lloyd Library and Museum. For this fellowship, I'll be preparing John Uri Lloyd's classic occult novel Etidorhpa (1895) for republication. More details soon!





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March 20, 2016

Psycho-analysis, Art & the Occult is a three day symposium held at Candid Arts, 3 Torrens Street, London.

I'll be participating in the art exhibition, along with works by Kately Foisy, Vanessa Sinclair, Austin Osman Spare, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Jesse Bransford, Val Denham, K Lenore Siner, Fredrik Söderberg, and others.


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February, 2016

Clint Marsh, of Wonderella Press, produces marvelous books and the periodical Fiddler's Green. The premiere issue was first published September 2014 and reissued February 2016 in honor of the Occult Humanities Conference, featuring copper foil titling on the cover and my article Where Art Meets the Occult: A Call to Action by Ken Henson (Special Edition exclusive)
 
“Magic and art have the potential to empower and connect us to the ineffable macrocosm. We need to continue to unearth and celebrate the art of our occult forefathers.”


 
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January 13, 2016

I am absolutely thrilled to have work in Language of the Birds, curated by Pam Grossman, which opens tonight at 80WSE, New York University.


"Language of the Birds: Occult and Art considers over 60 modern and contemporary artists who have each expressed their own engagement with magical practice.  Beginning with Aleister Crowley's trance portraiture and Austin Osman Spare's automatic drawing of the early 20th century, the exhibition traces over 100 years of occult art, including Leonora Carrington and Kurt Seligmann’s surrealist explorations, Kenneth Anger and Ira Cohen’s ritualistic experiments in film and photography, and the mystical probings of contemporary visionaries such as Francesco Clemente, Kiki Smith, Paul Laffoley, BREYER P-ORRIDGE, and Carol Bove."

Participating Artists
Kenneth Anger * Anohni * Laura Battle * Jordan Belson * Alison Blickle * Carol Bove * Jesse Bransford * BREYER P-ORRIDGE * John Brill * Robert Buratti * Elijah Burgher * Cameron * Leonora Carrington * Francesco Clemente * Ira Cohen * Brian Cotnoir * Aleister Crowley * Enrico Donati * El Gato Chimney * Leonor Fini * JFC Fuller * Helen Rebekah Garber * Rik Garrett * Delia Gonzalez * Jonah Groeneboer * Juanita Guccione * Brion Gysin * Frank Haines * Barry William Hale * Valerie Hammond * Ken Henson * Bernard Hoffman * Nino Japaridze * Gerome Kamrowski * Leo Kenney * Paul Laffoley * Adela Leibowitz * Darcilio Lima * Angus MacLise * Ann McCoy * Rithika Merchant * William Mortensen * Rosaleen Norton * Micki Pellerano * Ryan M Pfeiffer & Rebecca Walz * Max Razdow * Ron Regé, Jr. * Rebecca Salmon * Kurt Seligmann * Harry Smith * Kiki Smith * Xul Solar * Austin Osman Spare * Charles Stein * Shannon Taggart * Gordon Terry * Scott Treleaven * Panos Tsagaris * Charmion von Wiegand * Robert Wang * Peter Lamborn Wilson * Lionel Ziprin

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January 6, 2016

Blue Jay Slayer is now available! You can purchase it from Aurore Press, or you can pick up a copy at our book release (details in the flyer below). BJS is an art/poetry book I created with my longtime friend and collaborator Matt Hart. I made the images, he wrote the words.

"Blue Jay Slayer was a pleasure for me to read and visually take in. The drawings are bold, brazen, hauntingly beautiful and tragic at times. I found the poetry to be thought provoking and heavy with textured wordplay...traveling far, painting a picture all on their own."
--Dave Lombardo, drum God and co-founding member of Slayer

“Poems that will tickle and irritate your brain served alongside artwork that will soothe and delight it."
--Alice Bag, singer of The Bags and Goddess 13

"Blue Jay Slayer serves as a guide between the mutable worlds of dream and wishful/dreadful thinking - call it daydream, call it reality television, call it the world we all occupy during moments of existential crisis - when everything outside of our periphery becomes anything: the "daughter asleep or on fire." The sensory cacophony includes illustrations of human figures missing parts of themselves, fractured by overlapping borders and colors, simultaneously inviting and grotesque, reminding us that sometimes - though we never admit it to ourselves - "the goal is to become less, / not more, human being." Human nature and desire in its truest, purest form. These poems and illustrations invite us to "take the light / from delight and make it obvious" which I'm all too happy to do when the work is this damn good." 

--Gary Jackson, poet and author of Missing You, Metropolis






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December 3, 2015

I am SUPER excited to be invited to present at The Occult Humanities Conference at NYU this Feb., which is organized by Pam Grossman and Jesse Bransford. I'll be talking about the great, late illustrator and occultist John Augustus Knapp, and I have an exciting announcement I'll be making about a special publication of a new edition of Etidorhpa, the classic novel he illustrated . Other speakers and performers include Carl Abrahamsson, Peter Bebergal,  Erik Davis, Delphic Oracle, Christina Oakley Harrington, Judika Illes, Sarah Keller, Lykanthea, Hugh Milstein, Rachel Pollack, Celia Rabinovitch, Janaka Stucky, and Scott Treleaven.



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October 14, 2015

My art is on the cover of the sixth issue of The Gnostic, and several of my black mirror drawings are inside. The issue also includes interviews with Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, Gary Lachman and Gerard Russell. Articles by Sean Martin, Bill Darlison, Andrea Frank, Jeremy Puma, Jeffrey S. Kupperman, Sarane Alexandrian, Tobias Churton, Stevan Davies, Steve Dee, Jeremy Puma, Scott Stanley Smith and more.



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I'm excited to give a presentation on "Art and Magick" at Babalon Rising, Pan-Thelemic Festival, June 11- 14, 2015. Check out their website for more details.

“Babalon Rising was serious Thelema all day, and serious Agape all night. It was the best outdoor festival I've ever attended.”
--Lon Milo DuQuette on the 2006 Babalon Rising Festival



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April 7, 2015

RJ Smith interviewed me for an article about John Uri Lloyd's Etidorhpa in the April/May issue of Cincinnati Magazine. The article has some nice reproductions of Knapp's work, and the less-known yet beautiful rendition of Etidorhpa by Swedish illustrator Olle Hjortzberg (seen below). Here's an online link to the article.



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March 24, 2015

My review of Patrick Lepetit's The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism, in the Fall/Winter 2014-2015 issue of Lloydiana:


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March 6, 2015

Book release and reading for my illustrated novel/grimoire HIGH GRAVITY at Catland Books. They still have some signed copies at the shop if you're in the Brooklyn area. Or you can purchase it on Amazon.




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January, 2015

My book HIGH GRAVITY: Werewolves, Ghosts, and Magick Most Black is out on Oneiric Imprint! Big thanks to publisher Justin Patrick Moore. You can read a preview on Sothis Medias' website.


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December, 2014

My painting "Solutio" is featured in Clavis Journal, Volume 3.

Solutio, acrylic on canvas, 30" x 40"

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December 15, 2014

I've been accepted to deliver my paper "Trancing the Macrocosm: The Influence of Renaissance Alchemical Philosophy on Eclectic Medicine" at Scientiae 2015, Victoria College, Toronto University this May.


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November 21, 2014

Excited to be speaking at the Lloyd Library and Museum tonight at our Revised New Art Tarot release party! If you RSVPd, be sure to make it. Free wine and refreshments, $5 readings (a donation to the Lloyd), I'll be discussing the occult scene in late 19th century Cincinnati and Ron Decker will talk about the esoteric currents that influenced Knapp's tarot. Plus, you can purchase your copy of the newly restored deck.  *note: copies are still available through the Lloyd Library, and I signed the little white book that accompanies the deck.



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October 31, 2014

Jane Durrell interviewed the amazing Anna Heran of the Lloyd Library and Museum about their current exhibit, and the conversation turned toward my release event for the Revised New Art Tarot. Listen to the interview here.

 
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September, 2014

Artists K Lenore Siner and Natan Alexander have developed a beautiful artist residency space in New Hampshire. They asked me to spend some time there this summer and to invite some fellow occult artists to engage in a group project. I chose the two of them and Jesse Bransford. The project is scheduled for this summer.


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September 26, 2014

Excited to deliver my presentation Alchemy and Astral Projection at the Esoteric Book Conference at the University of Washington in Seattle today. I also have three paintings in their art exhibit.



Occult Pneumatology, mixed media on paper mounted to canvas, 30" x 40"

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August 17, 2014


The Lloyd Library and Museum purchased my painting of Etidorhpa. Below is the description I wrote for a placard that will accompany the painting once it is installed in their space.

Etidorhpa, mixed media on paper mounted to canvas, 18" x 24", 2014


This painting is a depiction of the title character from John Uri Lloyd's novel Etidorhpa (1895).  During his subterranean journey to the middle of Earth, I-AM-THE-MAN, the novel's hero, meets Etidorhpa, an inversion of the goddess Aphrodite.  As a story about initiation into the Western mysteries tradition, Etidorhpa is rich with symbolism.  John Augustus Knapp, Etidorhpa's illustrator, was well known as an illustrator of esoteric symbolism. He painted three versions of Etidorhpa, two of which were printed in different editions of the book.  My rendition borrows a technique from The Symbolist art movement, which thrived when Lloyd wrote the novel.  Some Symbolists painters enjoyed drawing on paper, then mounting the paper to a rigid support in order to finish the piece as a painting.  The Symbolists were also fond of gold leaf.  The text and illustration on the cover of the Subscriber's Edition of Etidorhpa were embossed in gold and silver.


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July 26, 2014

Today I will be delivering a presentation on Alchemy and Astral Projection at the 2nd International Left Hand Path Conference in Indianapolis, IN. I also have work in the group exhibit, so come on out!



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July 1, 2014

Maggie Heran, Director of the Lloyd Library and Museum, recently asked me to be a book reviewer for their periodical "Lloydiana". I'll be focusing on alchemy and related topics. Below is my review of Claude Lecouteux's The Book of Grimoires: The Secret Grammar of Magic.


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March 17, 2014

Abraxas Five is out, which includes my article "John Augustus Knapp: Modern Master of Occult Illustration".


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April 11, 2014

Ron Esposito interviewed me on NPR affiliate WVXU Radio.  You can listen here.




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March, 2014

The Revised New Art Tarot is now available for purchase from the Philosophical Research Society. I restored the deck, created new art for the back of the cards and a new box, and wrote an essay for the little white book.




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March 25, 2014

Dustin Pike wrote a review of my current show for AEQAI.



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February 22, 2014

My art exhibit The Emerald Tablet is opening at the Lloyd Library and Museum today!


The opening will double as a book launch for my new illustrated treatise Alchemy and Astral Projection: Ecstatic Trance in the Hermetic Tradition.


"Ken Henson is perceptive and creative, industrious and conscientious. LLM deserves congratulations for having sponsored and publicized Henson's latest project."
-Ronald Decker, author of A History of the Occult Tarot, and The Esoteric Tarot 

Ron's entire review of my book is below.


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February 18, 2014

Two awesome folks wrote about my work today!

There's an entry by the wondrous Pam Grossman on her blog Phantasmaphile



…and a piece on Sothis Medias by Justin Patrick Moore.


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January 17, 2014

Opening tonight for our group show at Thomas More College!



The woman who takes care of me, Paula Menetrey , with her spirit animal paintings

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October 12, 2013

Interviewed by Justin Patrick Moore on WAIF Cincinnati's radio program On the Way to the Peak of Normal. Joined by Pam Grossman.


 
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February 22, 2013

I'm very grateful to be a recipient of the Curtis Gates Lloyd Fellowship for the 2013-2014 academic year. I'll be using the funds and time to study alchemy, write and illustrate a new alchemical treatise, have an art exhibit, and give a lecture on the topic of alchemical illustration, all at the Lloyd Library and Museum. Thank you, Lloyd Library! I've been a big fan of this institution for many years, and as a flash from the past, here's a glimpse of a press release for an event I participated in at the Lloyd back in 2007.




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May 24, 2012

Well, Matt Hart and I drove the final nail in the coffin of the art space known as CS13 (Cincinnati, OH) with our group show HAIL SATAN! We curated 13 artists and 13 poets to make works about the princes of hell. My piece "Lucifer" was paired up with Dean Young's poem by the same title (because I co-curated the show, Dean Young is a genius, and I'm selfish like that). Harriet Staff wrote about the show on The Poetry Foundation's website.


Lucifer (detail), mixed media on paper, approx. 5' x 6'

Part of Dean Young's poem "Lucifer", drawn by Tanner Bowden

LUCIFER
You can read almost anything
about angels, how they bite off
the heads first, copulate with tigers,
tortured Miles Davis until he stuck
a mute in his trumpet to torture them back.
The pornographic magazines ported
into the redwoods. The sweetened breath
of the starving. The prize livestock
rolls over on her larval young,
the wooden dwarf turning in the cogs
of the clockworks. I would have
a black bra hanging from the shower rod.
I would have you up against
the refrigerator with its magnets
for insurance agents and oyster bars.
Miracles, ripped thumbnails,
everything a piece of something else,
archangelic, shadow-clawed,
the frolicking despair of repeating
decimals because it never comes out even.
Mostly the world is lava’s rhythm,
the impurities of darkness
sometimes called stars. Mostly
the world is assignations, divorces
conducted between rooftops. Forever
and forever the checkbook unbalanced,
the beautiful bodies bent back
like paper clips, the discharged
blandishing cardboard signs by the exits.
Coppers and silvers and radiant traces,
gold flecks from our last brush,
brushfires. Always they’re espousing
accuracy when it’s accident, the arrow
not in the aimed-for heart but throat
that has the say. There are no transitions,
only falls.

(the poem "Lucifer" was written by and belongs to Dean Young)

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April 24, 2012

I have a new illustrated-poem-comic-type-thingy titled "I LEAVE MY BODY" in the new issue of H_NGM_AN.

 
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March 19, 2012

Jake Snyder interviewed me over at Typecast Publishing:


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September 30, 2011

Opening for the exhibit of my "HIGH GRAVITY" drawings and my reconstruction of Brion Gysin's "Dreamachine" at Keith Benjamin's space Faculty Office.


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October 10, 2009

"Debacle Debacle / Typers + Jectors", Art Exhibit / Performance with Matt Hart,  @ CS-13, Cincinnati, OH


REACTOR vs. ACTOR, limited edition book of poems and art with screen printed cover, published by CS-13
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September 20, 2010

Poetry/Cooking Jam, AAC