playgrounds for the mind – Evan Venegas


I gain a sense of freedom by breaking out

As a child growing up in Queens, NY, I needed a place that I could go to have control over situations. I was drawn to painting, where I could make the decisions and orchestrate things to my liking or you could say, how I wanted things to be. As an adult, I still need to control my environment. I start these paintings with a grid, which is comforting to me, and easily understood. It is also confining, by locking me into a simple system of boxes.The grid itself leaves nothing to question: it is symbolic of things in life that are absolute – breath, gravity and light. This grid backdrop is where I exercise my need to shape the many facets of my life. By manipulating it with colors and lines, I bend, hide and choose what stays and what gets lost. I need something to break away from. I gain a sense of freedom by breaking out of the confines of the grid, even if it is self-manufactured.


Lost Grid


As a New York-based artist, I use imagery that is loosely based on the industrial landscape that surrounds me. My creative process is rooted in the recognizable world but expressed by abstract shapes and vibrant colors. Painting began for me as a way to improvise and organize what was in my mind. Seeing my inner dialogue reflected on paper heightened my self-awareness and I wanted to share this experience with others.

One especially transformative moment as an artist came when I was 10 years old— my brother showed me a black book filled with drawings by New York City graffiti artists. Their use of line, form, and color details resonated with me and still remain as part of my process.

By combining these elements, I seek to create an experience or a state of mind for the viewer that inspires a change in perception or a focused consciousness. On a technical basis I am constantly fine tuning and exploring what shapes, colors, and scale best allow for this type of experience—the shapes in my work are individual pieces of a puzzle, laid out for the viewer’s imagination to create and assemble an experience that is unique and personal. Human anatomy, car parts, faces, teacups, architecture, and letters are all objects that viewers have described seeing in some of my pieces but there is no right or wrong answer; as an artist I enjoy the process and helping start inner and outer dialogue.

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