Art Venti is an artist who has created much work over the years since his youth in the 1960s, using many different kinds of media. From oil paint to drawing, from carved wood to cast cement, he has invented a unique personal world of the imagination that he desires to share with the rest of humanity, crossing all ages, races and creeds. Up until 2009 AV's work has found it's source from throw away human, commercial, or personal castoffs, such as plastic containers, packing material, garbage tirs, facial tissues, or human hair. He recycled them into meticulously made sculptures or tableaux. The artist also experimented with photographic imagery to fulfill his desire for creating peripheral imagery, which is familiar at the same time that it is extremely strange, and unfamiliar. Using the tableaux of arranged materials, the scenes are at times chaotic, yet inviting, or peaceful, dreamlike and meditative, and evoking different emotions according to the individuals own visceral reaction. The viewers cannot help themselves, but to keep scouring the surface of the ethereal compositions, absorbing and searching amidst the fascinating shapes that the artist has formed.
Works on Paper 2009-12. Peripherals Series
In the last three years the previous study and experiments have developed into large drawings on paper.
The whole surface of the rag paper is covered in intensely detailed work predominantly color fast pencils. The shapes the artist draws are inspired by the arranged tableaux of tissues and miscellanious papers, but now become "other wordly" ephemeral landscapes, completely created from his imagination.
These drawings have the appearance of dream like, giant watercolor landscapes, with a "spiritual" atmosphere, when viewed from a distance of about 5 '. The complex pencil work can be studied and further appreciated at a closer distance, which then reveals unexpected surreal aspects.
The sizes vary from approximately 45" x 34" to 30" x 84"or larger .
The artist says of his work:
I like to experiment with shadow, light and depth in an environment that starts with a forest of tissues in a light box. The view in this box of translucent paper suggests landscape scenes that seem to move and change as the sun crosses the sky. If the inferred panorama is beguiling enough, the mind will move from the seen to the unseen and finally to what can only be a dream. Sketches of these moments are assembled and used to suggest the elaborately constructed worlds in my colored pencil drawings. When they are complete, the observer will have an opportunity to travel through random meaning to find his own personal significance.
Tissues are as humble and fragile as human lives, and living those lives crumples each into a unique form. Through death and tragedy, people clutch at tissues in a futile attempt to hold back a river of tears. Working as an artist is my strongest defense of our fragile existence. As I endeavor to leave my mark in the world around me, I am reminded that mortality is a powerful adversary to be counteracted with beauty.
Art Venti has exhibited nationally since the late 1980s, and early 90s. Since 2011 he has sold internationally on the saatchionline website.
Hale Art Space Santa Monica, CA
Palm Springs Desert Museum, CA
San Bernadino County Museum, CA
Museum of New Mexico
Laguna Heritage Arts Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
L.A. Artcore, Los Angeles, CA
John Thomas Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Merging One, Santa Monica. CA
Berkley Art Center, CA