Born in Southern Indiana, raised in Northern California, and trained in New York City.
Eli Morgan is an international creative director, photographer and graphic designer, committed to positive world transformation, through awareness, art, and design.
His first memories were looking out over the 120-acre farm in Freedom Indiana, where his Father, Thomas G. Morgan, taught him to ride a horse and shoot a pistol by age seven. On that farm he also began to develop his eye for beauty, spending
time alone with a pack of hounds, wandering the meadows of southern Indiana.
When he was eight, he took his first transatlantic flight.
During a tour of England, Scotland, Whales and Ireland, his father’s flair for the mystical would ignite Eli’s imagination as they rode horses in the green hills of his ancestral homeland of Bally Poreen, in the highlands of Galty Moutains.
Morgan moved that year to Northern California, just outside Yosemite National Park. It was there, in those epic landscapes, where he knew he was an artist.
“I had never seen anything so vast or seen the stars so bright. I remember hearing the music in the silence of those tree and mountains. At an early age I felt my eternal self staring back at me.”
The San Joaquin Valley would be his next move, and the hometown of George Lucas would be Morgan’s stomping ground for the next nine years.
“I will always consider Modesto my home town. I have never loved or hated a place more. “
In high school Morgan drove a 68’ Chevelle, was the editor of the school newspaper, an AP English student and attended ACLU meetings in Berkeley.
His mother, Anne D’Orazio, a Law Professor and Art Historian, would show him the path. She knew he needed to get out of the valley and sent him to live with his great uncle, the sculptor Ralph Dorazio in New York City.
“NYC is the fire that forged me. I had never felt anything like it. My Uncle was sculptor and geometer. He taught me to see the grid and to be able to apply that to any creative project.”
That year he got his first 35mm camera. It would never leave his side and with it, he felt he could share the way he saw the world. The frame became the way he saw the world and New York was a feast for the eye.
“The museums of New York were my churches and I would stay until they kicked me out. I knew I was training my eye.
I studied every angle, every color and nuance. I wanted to incorporate all this in my work, and knew that I would have to return to the city to train to become an visual artist.”
On returning to California to finish high school, Eli Morgan was focused. His teachers who always believed in him saw a change in the young man, and helped him get on top of his grades and build a portfolio of art.
“My High School teachers meant the world to me. I often say their names in mediation; they saw something in me and helped me to see it. Without them I would have never
made it out of Modesto. “
Eli was accepted to the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York. He sold his car and on the eve of his 19th birthday was on a train to the East coast.
“Art school was creativity on demand. There was no time for poetic reflection, it was work, and you had to produce. We had no sheltered campus; we had the streets of NYC. Most of our teachers were all working artists. The knowledge was there for us to take in the battleground of the city. You had to prove yourself to your classmates and professors. Less then half of my freshmen class made it to graduation. But those of who did were true art soldiers ready for a lifetime of creativity and success. “
After getting his BFA in 1999, Morgan managed one of the first digital photo studios in SOHO New York. Working for the company that had helped support him through collage, DUGGAL, he was able to spend hundreds of hours mastering Adobe software and learning digital printing.
He spent his evenings and weekends designing flyers and organizing EDM events.
“I found creative fulfillment in flyer design and event production. I could incorporate all my skills in this medium, typography, image making, printing technique, music, and
performance. A party is a master work of art. It begins with a vision and date, the flyer casts the spell, and then a collective makes it happen.”
“It was a special time in dance culture in NYC. The clubs and underground parties were magical and we all felt they were part of our spiritual lives. The creativity was palpable, and the international network that came through gave us all a global
In 2001, Eli Morgan would meet Alex Grey & Allyson Grey. Moved by their commitment to art and the Grey’s art that he had know for years, Morgan knew instantly that they were destined to work together. Touched and inspired by the
mission of their project to build an enduring legacy of visionary art embodied by the Sacred Mirrors collection, Morgan offered to produce a fund raising event, using his
art for the flyer and reproducing it in large format for deco.
“Alex’s work was already so loved by my community. Dance culture was looking for something deeper, a cause to rally around. Alex and Allyson’s vision fit perfectly. I knew that if they could have the youth behind them, it would only continue to grow.”
Morgan organized and produced the first benefit for The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors 3 months after 9/11. The creative synergy between Morgan and the Grey’s would go on to effect hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Alex Grey had just started to work with the band TOOL and one of Morgan’s first projects was to tour with them and photograph their stage show that used huge reproductions of Grey’s art.
Morgan would go on to become their creative director, help to form CoSM (Chapel of Sacred Mirrors), and establish CoSM Press and CoSM Journal. Alex and Allyson Grey (AAG) took over a floor in NYC and Morgan managed the gallery and produced monthly events and gallery shows, spending hours studying with AAG.
“I had met my match with Alex and Allyson. To call us workaholics would be an understatement. We were driven to create visionary culture, and to live by core values of love and creativity as a spiritual path.”
The off site events caught on like wild fire, and Morgan would work as AAG’s tour manager. Together they traveled the globe:
Live Oak, FL
Sun Valley, Idaho
Maui & Big Island
Having a global network, Eli Morgan has also become a trusted art dealer. Selling completed works and commissions ranging from 12k to 175k.
After designing Alex Grey’s third monograph, Net of Being, in 2012, Eli Morgan was an established creative director and book designer. His expanding client base meant working with artists and thinkers including, Wendy Grace, Michael Honack, Kyer Wiltshire, Sequoia Emmuelle, Delvin Solkinson, the Furtherrr Collective, Damanhur, and Shrine.
“ Selling art is giving someone an opportunity to own a piece of history. “
Now in 2017, Morgan is based in the heart of Chelsea, as New York City remains one of his great loves. Traveling to California and Colorado often, he feels deeply connected to North America. Training for his Master’s degree in Design Studies, he is committed to the visual arts and publishing to uplift and entertain the human spirit.