Germán Venegas

Puebla, Mexico, 1959. 
Lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico

Las calamidades que rondan por el mundo, 1988

Oil on canvas
56.94 X 79.17 in

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Las calamidades que rondan por el mundo

A painter, sculpture, draftsman and engraver, Germán Venegas completed his studies at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado La Esmeralda in Mexico City.  His career began to take off in the early 1980s when he was invited to participate in different group shows, both nationally and internationally.

His work presents an evolution of ideas and images from which he draws an imaginary composed of saints, alebrijes [imaginary animals], angels, skeletons and demons.  These were some of the elements that marked Germán Venegas’s early work, and which art critics identify as part of the language that corresponds to so-called neo-Mexicanism. Venegas later evolved toward a kind of work whose plastic solutions relate it more to neo-expressionist currents.

His work has a catastrophic aesthetic, the iconographic antecedents of which are to be found in José Clemente Orozco, as well as German expressionists for whome the disenchantment of history is translated by means of icons devastated by the ideas of war or by the deterioration of the social fabric.  Desolate landscapes, dismembered bodies and symbols that refer to different human massacres appear again and again, expressed through vigorous brushstrokes, daring compositions and profoundly ironic themes.  Like Ruelas, Goitia, Posada and Siqueiros, Venegas is moved by the reflection on problems related to struggles that occur from different trenches between good and evil.

Clearly influenced by the work of artists like Francisco de Goya, Las calamidades se pasean por el mundo [Disasters Move through the World] is a fundamental piece in his body of work, and allegorizes precisely one of those battles.  The oil images are the result of times of profound economic, social and political crises, resolved in a fantastic configuration, as a parable of the critical moment at which this painting was developed.