Zeena’s work as a visual artist and photographer is, in the words of Austin Osman Spare, ”a resurgent atavism”. Returning to the most archaic roots of art as oracle, magical act, visionary mirror and trigger of trance and altered states of consciousness, Zeena brings craven images to life in various media. Through the magical tool of her camera, she captures and transforms fleeting moments of time. Just as art produced in prehistoric times and classical antiquity was inspired by and imbued with the holy aura of the divine, Zeena acts as a medium opening a physical gateway to other worlds through which the gods may enter this realm.
In this sense, her art, like her music, is best understood as a non-verbal trans-rational branch of her religious teaching. Breaking with the modern and post-modern secular humanist notion of art as nothing more than an ego-enhancing vehicle of personal aesthetic expression, Zeena’s muse-inspired creation of spiritually charged icons and yantras transcends the human, allowing receptive viewers access to transpersonal modes of being.
The importance of lineage as a vehicle for passing down metaphysical energy also guides Zeena’s ritual art. She traces the lineage of her magical art to the mentorship of filmmaker Kenneth Anger, her godfather. During Anger’s most creatively fertile years in the 1960s and 1970s, he transmitted the influences of Curtis Harrington, Jean Cocteau, and Maya Deren on his own work to Zeena during her childhood and adolescence. Working independently of any contemporary art movement, Zeena operates beyond the restrictions of the trend-driven art ”scene” establishment. She shuns digital technology and computer art, creating her work exclusively with organic and traditional analog means.
Left: Zeena as a child with Kenneth Anger playing piggy-back during one of his spontaneous drop-ins to the family home. Her groggy expression is due to the late hour; not unusual for "Uncle Ken" to pop by at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning, on school nights - roughly the hour this photo was taken, circa 1973.
Right: Zeena with Kenneth Anger near Paramount Studios in Hollywood Babylon, 1990.