"Scupltor-painter, painter-sculptor, draftsman, painter, sculptor. German Venegas 1959. He has experienced, from his first appearance in group exhibitions in 1981, a constant ascent in the national and international importance his work has attained, based on a plastic production that has a very particular sense and form, and a complex and renovated quality. The work done by this young artist during the last four years is characterized by a fusion of traditions and mythologies from different origins, which converged in certain artistic currents of this century, such as arte povera, art brut, assemblage, combine painting, funk art. When he took this road German Venegas set aside the repertoire of eye-catching colors of his first period (1981-1988), when he played a relevant role as part of the mocking, populist and irreverent "Mexicanisms."
Fragment. Revista Proceso, p. 54, August 10, 1992.
"Venegas' education included the early practice of a craft: wood carving. In this way, manual crafts have been familiar to him and they are part of his work's most persistent contents, which are the ones that leave permanent traces in the course of existence. With these elements, with the ones he learned in the school where he studied, "La Esmeralda," and with the philosophic parameters that are common to an entire generation of contemporary artists, Germán Venegas has formulated a direct and dismembered language, which is at the same time self-critical and speaks of the nature of things as they have been represented in their pristine state. The way in which Venegas articulates his images always obeys concepts that can be intuited or deciphered, but that do not form (as others have claimed) a narrative. The genre that is closest to his work might be the satire, even though it would be wrong to describe his astonishing configurations as "visual satires." German Venegas allows us to apprehend with a certain irony the aesthetic sides of very serious things: beliefs, vices, childhood, sexuality, and what awaits towards the end of things."
Teresa del Conde.
Museum of Modern Art. Mexico, 1992.
Fragment from a text by Teresa del Conde in the catalogue of German Venegas' exhibition Polvo de imágenes, August 1992.
"German Venegas' discourse is particularly diversified and contradictory. He is an artist who tries out all possibilities of creation as well as a great variety of ways of doing; he walks unusual roads. Postmodernity allows him to deal with both tradition and innovation in a plain and frank manner. Venegas' plastic discourse is ambiguous, it diversifies itself into new phases and, in the course of time, it changes and turns back again to the use of tradition. It goes back and forth from the remote past to the culture of the "barrio." It can find inspiration in antique Mexican pieces and, suddenly, oscillate towards canonic forms of the sculpture of the XVIIIth century, or to the recreation of folk environments. Unlike folk art, his work is not about repetitive forms, but about personal creations that have an intention. Venegas' process is imprecise and sometimes contradictory."
Mtro. Jorge Alberto Manrique.
Revista Cubana de Filosofía, digital edition, January-April 2006.
the Weight of the Original Substrate
"Luis Cardoza y Aragón speaks of an "original substrate" that has never fully settled and that constantly feeds and renews the imagination of Mexicans, as well as their capacity to reconstruct themselves everyday on a complex and lively basis; a capacity that is related to their survival. An imagination that is necessarily in dialogue with its demons, fights them, and, somehow, exorcises them. A dream, a dismembered body of myths and ancestral forms which seek to reconfigure themselves before our eyes and before the unfinished time of the present, as well as before the possibility of transmuting it into the artworks that give it an identity. German Venegas - draftsman, sculptor, painter and engraver - moves within that essential current with the impulse and destiny (whether we believe in it or not) of a singular artist. For as long as he can remember, he has cultivated the foundational art of drawing with a surprising innate ability which, in the course of time, has been assumed and exercised by him with full awareness of his craft."
Luis Cortés Bargalló
Luvina, Literary Magazine, University of Guadalajara, "Nueva Época" Publishing House, March 2004.
"From gladiators mounted on horses of town "fiestas", with which he first jumped into the art world arena, to the more than fifty paraphrases of Titian's The Flaying of Marsyas, or the jaguars of Teotihuacan threaded with volutes, done a quarter of a century later, Germán Venegas' painting has followed a winding and admirable road in the process of chasing himself, handing down to us as a result a great work through each one of the vicissitudes he has experienced. During this journey, his painting eventually sought to detach itself from sculpture, in such a way that in time both of them fused, and after becoming an altarpiece - a painting that uses wooden forms instead of oil -, he turned back again, this time with a synthetic and fully pictorial sobriety, chasing a certain kind of asceticism which, fortunately, does not lack a joyful erotism."
Este País/ Cultura, No. 206, May 2008.
"German Venegas has found in the Buddhist conception of reality a rich source of inspiration, as well a way to face the contradictions of his personal circumstances. As a result of this, Venegas' natural disposition to consider his art as a form of reflection and of knowledge has been reaffirmed, thus eliminating every division between his every-day life, his professional interests and his existential convictions. By assuming that the idea of an individualized "self" is an illusion and that, therefore, everything is part of a unity, German Venegas faces the irrefutable fact that the reality that surrounds us is unstable and transitory, and that flow and change are basic attributes of nature."
Un Solo Aliento Exhibition Catalogue, 2007.
"From mystic ecstasy to hedonistic inebriation, from monastic contemplation to carnal fever, Venegas' repertoire captivates the spectator, surrounding him and embracing him along passageways that are complemented with his craft and his tools. Tempera, oil painting, woodcarving, watercolor, charcoal and graffito give coherence to a project that surpasses the artwork as an object; German Venegas' work is much more than that. Art, in this case, would consist in the act of looking in the eye at a Zen master who rides a cross-eyed tiger among an orgy of fruits, milk and papayas."
Abraham Cruz Villegas
Elucubraciones Exhibition Catalogue, 2005.