I discovered David Chaim Smith a few years ago when looking for books of esoteric art online. His incredibly detailed and textured drawings represent his visionary kabbalistic practice. His use of symbolic language is beautiful and absorbing.
He has an MFA in drawing from Colombia University.
On his website he explains the purpose of Shiviti and Illanot:
“A shiviti is a devotional image which displays a divine name for spiritual practice. The term comes from the verse “I have set (shiviti) YHVH before me always” (Psalm 16:8). In its esoteric form, shivitis provide a graphic context for the visualization and contemplation of complex divine name configurations. The tradition of illanot is a bit different. It refers to the cartographic aspect, which is the diagraming of the complex kabbalistic phases of creation and creativity. They serve more as maps than devotional images. Both traditions are combined in my work. I have been making illanot, shivitis, magical seals, and all kinds of related talismanic images since the 1970’s. They have served a wide variety of functions; some traditional and some quite radical. Below is a mixed selection spanning the past 25 years. Some are rather crude, however all of them function in the service of a working spiritual practice, in a wide range of contexts and configurations. The basis of my practice is highly unusual, which the construction of these images reflects. In these pieces various aspects of hermetic and gnostic wisdom can be seen in an amalgam with the kabbalistic structures. It is through this bond that the scope of the devotional, contemplative, magical, and mystical applications of my work arises.”
“The Sacrificial Universe” – David Chaim Smith, Fulgur Esoterica, 2012