It’s sometimes funny how your first introduction to an artist is through everyday things — like album covers.
H.R. Giger (1940-2014), one of the preeminent artists of Fantastic Realism, was a Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer known for his biomechanical creatures, extraterrestrial landscapes and disturbing, though memorable, imagery of grotesque sensuality.
Giger discovered the airbrush and, along with it, his own unique freehand painting style, leading to the creation of many of his most well known works.
Giger kept a notepad next to his bed so he could sketch the terrors that rocked his uneasy sleep — nightmarish forms that could as easily have lumbered from prehistory as arrived from Mars.
Giger’s art enters the rarified realm of the near magical, and certainly the land of genius.
But this generous and humble artist avoided the limelight and rather let his work speak volumes of his mastery.
The most famous book with publications of his drawings and landscapes was the “Necronomicon” of 1977.
It was Giger’s published book Necronomicon that inspired Ridley Scott’s Alien.
His work is surrealistic, magical, detailed, and plainly gorgeous.
Robert Venosa (January 21, 1936 – August 9, 2011) studied the Misch Technique (also known as the Master’s Technique) discovered by the seventeenth-century Flemishmasters Hubert and Jan Van Eyck, which utilizes the system of painting in tempera and oil glazes.
This technique is perfect for painting the crystalline worlds that Venosa envisions.
Light goes through the surface oil glazes, bounces off the white tempera underpainting and comes back out hitting the eye with the illusion of transparent depth.
For Robert, it was more than a career — it was a spiritual path of self inquiry and direct experience of transcendent realities.
He has been called a visionary, his paintings slicing through the ethereal and bringing it closer to home.
His neighbor and friend Salvador Dali once said, “Bravo Venosa! Dali is pleased to see spiritual madness painted with such a fine technique.”