Robert Venosa foreword to 'The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo'
A Holy Message of Absolute BrillianceA Roberto Venosa s is so often the case, we attract to ourselves Ayar Amazonian School of Painting, which flourished that which we open up to with our conscious- and expanded exponentially, producing an abundanceness: higher levels of thought, conundrums, and atten- of Amazonian master painters, such as Juan Carlosdant enigmas are always waiting at the edge of our Taminchi and Anderson Debarnardi, among many oth-abilities to recognize and, hopefully, understand them. ers. It was so typical of Pablo to compassionately shareSuch was the case with my introduction to the art of the gifts that Mother Huasca had presented to him.Pablo Amaringo. Although Pablo’s technique and color scale can be In 1992, shortly after experiencing my first aya- considered somewhat primitive or naïve by fine-arthuasca journey, I was glancing through a friend’s library standards, his depictions of the yagé realms in theirand, either through intuition or serendipity, I pulled manifested power of emotion and otherworldly magicout a book that would add significantly to my recently transcend all academic critique. Pablo was also a deeplyaltered consciousness, as well as my artistic expression. versed master translator of the ayahuasca mythologies,That book was Pablo’s Ayahuasca Visions and it featured in which snakes, leopards, celestial palaces, and alienspaintings that amazingly captured, in form and color, and their spacecraft all converge on his canvas, present-an authentic representation of the hallucinatory, holy ing an indigenous encyclopedia of the inner, outer, andcosmic yagé opera that any other artist would consider transcendent worlds of yagé. Celestial architecture, asdifficult, if not impossible to execute. Those images, well as and in contrast to his underworld iconography,however, were profoundly inspirational, and provided never fails to captivate the viewers and take them onthe initial stimulus for me to attempt my own interpre- a vicarious journey that offers a view into the dynamictations of the inexplicable, divinely mysterious, some- consciousness-altering experience magically exterior-times terrifying but gloriously beautiful visual world of ized through Pablo’s brush and palette.ayahuasca. The high mission of art, through its illusions, is to After that, fortuitously, I had the pleasure of meet- foreshadow higher states of reality, and no one did thising Pablo on a number of occasions, both in the United better in the depiction of the ayahuascan worlds thanStates and in the Amazon, and I can report that I never Pablo. Art should inspire, it should reach into the emo-met a sweeter, more humble individual . . . but with a tional center and ring the bell that awakens us to ourbrilliant intellect, an equally powerful spirit, the wisest higher self. This is what all great artists have attemptedof souls, and vast knowledge of the transcendent realms to do throughout the ages through their own inspiredhe once traversed as the shaman—vegetalista—that he art—an art that comes not from them, but throughwas. And although Pablo refrained from ingesting the them from some Higher Power that lures us onto thesacrament in his later years, he continued to paint the path of light leading to the ever-elusive but divinelywonderful visions that overflowed in his repository of attainable source and center of all Beingness. This isyagé experience. I myself, as an artist, know it would what ayahuasca alludes to in its holy message, and intake numerous lifetimes to be able to paint the visions its absolute brilliance, it has chosen Pablo Amaringo asfrom just one aya journey. one of its divine messengers. There is just too much, a delicious abundance, ofheretofore unknown forms and colors that inundate the binner eye during the journey. I discussed this with Pablo Fantastic Realism painter, sculptor, and film artist Robertoand he agreed that there was not a canvas or palette Venosa has exhibited worldwide and is represented in manylarge enough to capture the smallest iota of the overall major collections. In addition to painting, sculpting, andayahuascan visual storm. But Pablo’s creative output was film design (pre-sketches and conceptual design for thenevertheless Herculean as well as generous. After his movie Dune, and Fire in the Sky for Paramount Pictures, asretirement from active shamanism in 1977, Pablo started well as the upcoming Race for Atlantis for IMAX), he hasplanning for more earth-bound activities, and opened recently added computer art to his creative menu. There havehis Pucallpa home to teach painting to orphaned and been four books featuring his work, including Illuminatus, aabandoned children. In 1984, he turned it into the Usko retrospective collaboration with Terence McKenna. Memories and Legacy 12