We all know that art can be magical, but in a deep way, art can literally be magic. NYers are invited to join me for the opening party of my next group art show, Sigils & Signs, which opens at Observatory this week — Friday, April 27th from 7-10pm. The show will be up through Sunday, June 17th, 2012. 

Sigils & Signs

Opening:  Friday, April 27th, 2012    7-10pm

Observatory – 543 Union Street (at Nevins in Brooklyn)

On View:  April 28th  – June 17th, 2012

Gallery Hours:  Thursdays & Fridays 3-6pm; Saturdays & Sundays 12-6pm


Brooklyn, NY Observatory and Phantasmaphile's Pam Grossman are proud to announce Sigils & Signs, a group show of talismanic artworks, on view from April 27th through June 17th, 2012.

The fibers of art and magic are woven so tightly together, it’s often said that they are one and the same.  Images are imaginal pictures.  When we see something, a constellation of synapses fires, associations swirl, and new thoughts are born.  We are altered – and what is magic, if not this?

That said, there is a long lineage of artists who, quite literally, created spells via drawings on the floor, scrawls in books, lines cut into wood or stone.  Though the featured players of this story are often English magicians from John Dee to Austin Osman Spare to Alan Moore, symbol-based magic can be traced back through the ages and across cultures.  Germanic runes were carved into objects and later used as vehicles of divination.  Hindu yantras and Buddhist mandalas are meditative, microcosmic diagrams meant to elevate the mind to the spiritual plane, and Kabbalistic letters are infinite layer-cakes of mystic meaning.  The well-placed glyph can bless a birth, or curdle mother’s milk.  A ring of certain characters can summon a demon, and the right number-grid can allow communion with the angels.  Excavated from grimoires, handed down from teachers both living and dead, these are powerful emblems that act upon the fabric of the universe.

As such, the works in Sigils & Signs are agents of change.  By using occult symbols from various traditions and times, each artist explores what it means to be a magician in the modern age: to emblazon sigils upon the energy field; to make magic marks.  While these artworks may be appreciated for their aesthetic value – and oh how valuable they are – the viewer is invited to engage with each piece on the immaterial level.  Whether protective or contemplative, refueling or revealing, these “wall spells” are cast with careful beauty and the intention to transform.





Jesse Bransford

Derrick R. Cruz

Adela Leibowitz

Jason Leinwand

Tamalyn Miller

Deborah Mills

Annie Murphy

Ouroboros Press

Daniel Rabuzzi

Michael Robinson

David Chaim Smith

Fredrik Söderberg

Hilary White



Observatory is an art and events space in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.  Founded in February 2009 and run by a group of seven artists and bloggers, the space seeks to present programming inspired by the 18th century notion of “rational amusement” and is especially interested in topics residing at the interstices of art and science, history and curiosity, magic and nature.  The space hosts screenings, lectures, classes, and exhibitions, and is part of the Proteus Gowanus art complex.  It is located at 543 Union Street (at Nevins), and is accessed through Proteus Gowanus Gallery’s entrance.  Observatory’s gallery hours are 3-6pm on Thursdays and Fridays; and 12-6pm on Saturdays and Sundays.