Artist Biography
Mark Venaglia is one of the most exciting artists in America today.”
- The New York Times and  LA Times
Mark Venaglia is a humanist and cultural activist. Believing that all people are innately capable of greater visual comprehension then currently credited, the artist merges realism with abstraction. Selected by AT& T as “the premiere Renaissance artist of the green movement,” Mark has been green since 1983. His paintings and murals are contained in corporate and civic collections, museums and private collections throughout the world. To facilitate the accessibility of art and authentic green concepts, he utilizes fine art, murals, museum tours, private salons, gallery exhibitions, lectures, art instruction and cupcakes.
Collectors a diverse as Robert De Niro, Celine Dion, Eddie Murphy and Gloria Swanson have acquired the artist’s paintings and murals. Green since 1983, the artist has received numerous environmental grants and prestigious fellowships. Corporate partnerships include AT & T, Whole Foods Markets, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Walt Disney Imagineering. Mr. Venaglia is currently Artist-in-Residence for Outward Bound Adventures, an LA non profit providing over 50 years of community service. He also serves as Artist-in-Residence for The Louisville Multiple Sclerosis Center and has held previous residencies at The LA Gay and Lesbian Center and Golden Phoenix Healing Center in Sedona, AZ. His fine art represents the US at international art shows in Yerevan, Armenia and in Germany, Korea, and France.  KCAL anchorwoman Pat Harvey interviewed the artist during their feature story about his mural of Biddy Mason. For The Cultural Affairs Department of Pasadena, he conceived and created a mural diptych in support of The PerCent for Art Program; selected from 3,000 resident artist applicants.  His mural triptych commemorating the centennial of The New York City Public Library is contained within the Library’s Permanent Collection. A Guest Artist of The Miami City Ballet, Mr. Venaglia designed two world premiere ballets to unanimous praise. Mark has also created site specific installations for City of Hope Cancer Center and St. Vincent’s Medical Center. The hospitality industry has Venaglia commissions in several Four Seasons Hotels, Hilton hotels and The Mirage.  Corporate Collections include Time Warner, Sony Pictures International, First Jersey Security and The Bank of Visalia. Mark has received grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, The California Community Foundation, The California Arts Council and Robert Rauschenberg’s Change, Inc. The artist leads noted seminars on Creativity and Art Comprehension for corporations and universities throughout the US- most recently California State University- Northridge and The Junior League of Los Angeles.
Mark Venaglia is the premiere Renaissance of the Green Movement.” - AT & T
Artist Statement
Central to my work is reawakening viewers to the awe inspiring aspects of subjects we pass daily and take for granted- particularly the marvels of Nature.  Synthesizing large scale composition with meticulous painted details, my art engages viewers to rediscover iconic structures such as the Statue of Liberty in a more personal experience.  I am especially obsessed with sunflowers, a plant that is larger than any of us yet originates as a seed smaller than one’s fingernail. Each painting and mural are vehicles to activate better communication between the brain’s left and right  hemispheres. I continue to explore methods that incorporate dimensional Abstraction into highly Representational work.  The art I create is painted on organic muslin with Casein Fresco, which absorbs all light. By utilizing opaque and translucent areas in each painting, a tremendous range of color variation occurs within each work. Differences in daylight, twilight, incandescent and candlelight reveal extensive visual variety within each painting. Casein paint tops oil and acrylic for having the least impact upon the earth.
I also paint to express my admiration of the magnificent artists before us. My obvious inspirations are Charles Burchfield and Louis Tiffany. Living and observing in Los Angeles introduced me to the practical mysticism of Agnes Pelton. Whistler’s “Nocturnes” compel me: they are Late Nineteenth Century Abstractions at their best. I continually utilize a variety of painting proportions to offset stability.
By dissolving the picture plane, each viewer can enter the environments I render and find personal solutions. I contribute my work in the hope it inspires the artworld to evolve beyond the “us and them” mentality between Realism and Abstraction. Wayne Thiebaud writes:  ‘We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what painting can do.’ More than just examining light, I endeavor to create works of art which contain illuminated atmosphere so compelling one forgets one is viewing a painting at all. My years of Trompe L'oeil commissions sharpened this technique; I now focus upon doing something more contemporary; not abandoning- but advancing this meticulous tradition of fooling the eye.
I feel very fortunate that, within my own lifetime, my work is acknowledged and comprehended by a wide variety of critics and collectors. This recognition provides me with the freedom to continue growing as a cultural activist, humanist and artist.
“Mark Venaglia uses the beauty of Nature’s flora as a brush and palette to get to the truth of the idea of human emotions and human conditions.”
        -Maria Pavlovich McCarthy,  The Connecticut Art Review
“Capturing the organic spirit he finds within architecture from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, Mark Venaglia’s incandescent utilization of paint will absorb you.”
        -Michael James Ryman,  Marin Independent Journal
“Mr. Venaglia places his soul in every brushstroke…”
        -Hitashi Osada,  Tokyo Ministry of Art & Culture