Illuminatus by Robert Venosa - Book Review

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A Review of Robert Venosa's Illuminatus with text by Terence Mckenna. The review appeared in MAPS Volume X Number 3 Creativity Edition 2000.

A Review of Robert Venosa's Illuminatus with text by Terence Mckenna. The review appeared in MAPS Volume X Number 3 Creativity Edition 2000.

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  • 1. 28 maps • volume X number 3 • creativity 2000 Illuminated Manuscript Reviewed by Robert Venosa’s Illuminatus Richard T. Carey To make art is to draw even with the aspirations of divinity. To make art well is to call spirit into being. Magicians, like Venosa, know this. — Terence McKennaH AVE YOU EVER taken a journey to a “separate reality” via ayahuasca or magic mushrooms or some such sacrament and wish you could bringback a snapshot or reconstruct an image from your Venosa’s realism, like a hallucination, is astonishing. I confess there have been times I touched his artwork, expecting to feel something that wasn’t there. On one occasion I thought somehow water had spilled onto avisionary experience? I have, but cameras are not allowed painting and I dabbed the drops with a tissue. Anotheron these trips, only the mind’s eye, and I am left fantasiz- time I was compelled to feel the raised texture of DNAing about having the talent of a great painter, such as molecules. Both times I was fooled! Speaking of touching,Robert Venosa. Venosa is an artist of high accomplish- H. R. Giger writes, “I would be delighted to experience onement and much of his work reflects images of his inner of these images in three-dimensional form and to touchmindscapes. His new book, Illuminatus, further defines these ethereal figures and faces with my hands…,” andthe genre of Fantastic Realism (Surrealism, Visionary, again, “The biggest thrill would be to touch this imaginaryHypo-realism, Psychedelic). With comments and essays cool, smooth surface.”by a host of illuminated mentors and/or contemporaries, Tantamount to Venosa’s extraordinary art is theIlluminatus is simply a mind-expanding book. “Those accompanying text by none other than Terence McKenna,artists, such as Venosa, who gain access to visionary art historian, writer, and leading spokesperson for thestates, captivate us through their eternal imagery to fall myriad explorers of mind-altering substances. Terence hasunder a spell of that reality.” — Ernst Fuchs. reached the stature of one the most articulate psychonauts But Venosa’s visionary reflections are but one aspect the world will ever know. Needless to say, his talent forof his broad talent word crafting is parand subject matter. excellence and his text inHis portraits have a Illuminatus is as illustriousphoto-realism mixed as Venosa’s artwork.with spirit that Venosa and McKennainstills life on his each explore our ultimatecanvases. He uses frontier, the wilderness ofhis photo-realisms mind. Artists/explorers“…to lure us extraordinaires, theythrough its ‘reality’ return from their travelsinto his own inner in the noosphere andworld of swirling now meet to commingleand seraphic their elaborate work withenergies…Venosa… brush and pen to bring uslearned the tempera a volume the nature andand oil glazing calibre of which hastechnique…from never before beenyours truly in New published. Illuminatus isYork and…Ernst destined to be a classic. •Fuchs in Vienna,and opted to perfectit in a state of mindof jewel-like clarity.”— Mati Klarwein ROBERT VENOSA ILLUMINATUS book cover featuring SCHEHERAZADE , 1997 oil on canvas, 44 x 55 cm
  • 2. maps • volume X number 3 • creativity 2000 29ROBERT VENOSAPRANA EXHALATION, 1985oil on canvas, 70 x 55 cm