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.
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 put to the test , discipline was one of the more important necessities that Mati emphasized and – through his own adherence – strongly impressed on me: I could only join in the festivities after my work was done and all brushes were washed. Mati taught well the techniques of painting and, even more relevant, of quality living. I’m honored to have been one of the fortunate few to have studied with him.
Venosa moved to Europe in the early 70’s settling in the celebrated Mediterranean village of Cadaques in Spain, where he enjoyed the honorable and mighty pleasure of getting to know and hang with neighbor Salvador Dali, as well as the numerous notables in the world of art and literature who gravitated to that magic locale. Much of Venosa’s work and attendant exploits have been published in his book, Noospheres (Pomegranate Artbooks). In it Venosa talks of the attitudinal complications of his returning to the U.S. after years of living in Europe: “In 1982 – due to a number of commissions,commercial allurements and a burgeoning recognition of my work afforded through 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.
The admiration and aristocratic respect given the artist in Europe is stripped clean upon arrival in the U.S. as these architects of culture are transmogrified into novelty items and entertaining curiosities. The centuries-old tradition of dedication and perfection while working in the solitude of a tranquil studio at the limited speed allowed by brush and paint is left at the gates of the rapid-fire, nonstop, instant-sensual-gratification American sitcom culture. Trying to compete in the fast lane of the high-velocity illusions and banal delusions of movies and TV poses a problem for the painter and his two-dimensional immobile images. Nevertheless, the challenge, then as now, of affecting the consciousness with more eternal value cannot be denied,and so, combining the historical deep roots of European culture with the dynamic of America’s youthful energy, an attempt is constantly made”.
“Bravo Venosa! Dali is pleased to see spiritual madness painted with such a fine technique.” ~ Salvador Dali
“Robert Venosa creates mythical mindscapesthat fascinate and illuminate. His tableaux are windows into timeless vistas of the inner realities.” ~ Saint Timothy