New York City born, Venosa was transported into the world of fine art in the late 60's after having experimented with psychedelics and having seen the work of the Fantastic Realists - Ernst Fuchs and Mati Klarwein in particular - both of whom he eventually met and studied under. Of his apprenticeship with Klarwein, Venosa says, "What a time (Autumn, 1970) that turned out to be! Not only did I get started in proper technique, but at various times I had Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Jackie Kennedy and the good doctor Tim Leary himself peering over my shoulder to see what I was up to.
|Michael Fuchs, Ernst Fuchs, Venosa, Vienna, 1969.|
That loft was the energy center in New York, and I reveled in it. And somehow,miraculously, in the midst of all the nonstop pandemonium taking place everyday I learned to lay the paint down properly. Even though it was ever putto the test , discipline was one of the more important necessities thatMati emphasized and - through his own adherence - strongly impressed onme: I could only join in the festivities after my work was done and allbrushes were washed. Mati taught well the techniques of painting and, evenmore relevant, of quality living. I'm honored to have been one of the fortunatefew to have studied with him."
|Babette,Venosa ,Cathy Ainsworth, Mati Klarwein. |
New York, 1970.
Venosa moved to Europe in the early 70's settling in the celebrated Mediterraneanvillage of Cadaques in Spain, where he enjoyed the honorable and mightypleasure of getting to know and hang with neighbor Salvador Dali, as wellas the numerous notables in the world of art and literature who gravitatedto that magic locale. Much of Venosa's work and attendant exploits havebeen published in his book, Noospheres (Pomegranate Artbooks). In it Venosatalks of the attitudinal complications of his returning to the U.S. afteryears of living in Europe: "In 1982 - due to a number of commissions,commercial allurements and a burgeoning recognition of my work affordedthrough extensive exposure in OMNI magazine and on record album covers -I started traveling to the U.S., dividing my time there between New Yorkand Boulder, Colorado.
|Venosa, Mati and Eleonore Klarwein |
|Enjoying the clear, clean mountainair and relatively sane consciousness of its populace, I settled on Boulderas my base in the States. Compared to the raucous, colorful activity ofCadaques, Boulder appeared somewhat anorexic. But the siren of success,along with the Muse of Mammon, wailed a seductive tune, irresistible inits promise but demanding in the changes deemed necessary if I were to singalong: The Merry Mediterranean mirage would have to give way to the AggressiveAmerican Kindergarten for a season or two. There would be exhibits to arrange,press releases to disseminate, collectors to romance, critics to confuseand an entirely new sense of art to cultivate. My idea of art, as previouslyunderstood, would require major surgery if I were to immerse myself in theAmerican standards and expectations of what that word represented.|
|Venosa, Cadaques, 1975|
The admiration and aristocratic respect given the artist in Europe is strippedclean upon arrival in the U.S. as these architects of culture are transmogrifiedinto novelty items and entertaining curiosities. The centuries-old traditionof dedication and perfection while working in the solitude of a tranquilstudio at the limited speed allowed by brush and paint is left at the gatesof the rapid-fire, nonstop, instant-sensual-gratification American sitcomculture. Trying to compete in the fast lane of the high-velocity illusionsand banal delusions of movies and TV poses a problem for the painter andhis two-dimensional immobile images. Nevertheless, the challenge, then asnow, of affecting the consciousness with more eternal value cannot be denied,and so, combining the historical deep roots of European culture with thedynamic of America's youthful energy, an attempt is constantly made".
| "Bravo Venosa! Dali is pleased to see spiritual madness paintedwith such a fine technique." |
"Robert Venosa's art truly captures the imprint of a spiritual force,each painting so alive, seeming to breathe, pulsate and stare back at you,challenging the viewer to also reach their highest potential."
|Carlos Santana & Venosa |
Los Angeles, 1989
|"Robert Venosa creates mythical mindscapesthat fascinate and illuminate. His tableaux are windows into timeless vistasof the inner realities." |
| "An inspired beinglike Venosa has got to paint inspiring visions. One expects that from him" |
|Venosa, Giger, Cadaques, 1977|
|"Venosasubmerges into the cosmic mysteries and brings back fantastic visions dressedin the perfect and classic technique of a painter who completely mastershis art." |
Jean 'Moebius' Girard
| "RobertVenosa's imagery is a portal into the mescaline canyons of the imagination.|
His is an informed yet visionary grasp of the icons of the spiritual anderotic."
|Venosa, TerenceMcKenna, Boulder, 1996|