Friday, December 30, 2016

Todo es gracia :: All is grace

Life puts us in peculiar situations, and boy, does one learn or what? And one learns to takes charge, something that I have been averse to doing, on other turfs. So, before we slip into 2017, I’d like to put this thought out of my mind! 

First of all, my appreciation goes out to Jesús Rodriguez Arevalo for initiating my nascent journey into painting murals and that too in Mexico, and also to our mutual friend Marco Patiño (of Puerta Niebla, Mineral, and Pachuca) for being a good conduit. Moving on, when I was painting my first mural at the UAEH campus in Actopan — it was sad hearing somebody say that I was a designer, and how could I possibly paint a mural. On what basis had I been invited! And besides, I did not speak Spanish, which was true. Here Marco Antonio Hernandez was an immense help, in valiantly translating for me. As was Yolanda Alamilla.

But still, it was sad, considering that I had taken on a huge reality, in fact negotiated (in my feeble Spanish) the entire huge wall (there was nothing insane about doing so) instead of the quarter part we have been allocated; besides, it should have been immediately apparent that Paulina Genea, and I were doing a good job — despite my inability to converse with her in Spanish; it being my first mural; working eventually off of a ladder while holding paints, and brushes at a height of about 25 plus feet. Truth be told, there was no equipment for such a large surface, Yet, resolving problems with the able assistance of Alecs Gómez (when he was available). But we came through, and no one has said anything more. On another note, one of my NY friends, a Japanese bloke who later said: Venantius, it was a collaboration in parts!

I went to the next encounter, to square things off, to give back, to be out of debt. And I appreciated the opportunity. I pushed it a couple of notches higher on both sites (Biblioteca de Actopan, and in Col. Morelos), something I could have done the first time around. Patience, and time. Time will tell.

Recently, on my third encounter, I pretty much stayed in my corner at the end of town in Col. Morelos. And it was quite blissful. I think I missed most of the activities, because I forgot that I have been handed a piece of paper by Juan Manuel Ruiz with the scheduled activities. It was a blessing that I was pretty much forgotten. No one came for me. I finished in good form, considering I had started very late on the murals, and having to deal with other logistical issues. All is grace. 

La vida nos pone en situaciones peculiares, y muchacho, ¿uno aprende o qué? Y uno aprende a tomar la carga, algo que he sido aversión a hacer, en otros céspedes. Así que, antes de entrar en 2017, me gustaría poner este pensamiento fuera de mi mente!

En primer lugar, mi agradecimiento a Jesús Rodríguez Arévalo por iniciar mi incipiente viaje en murales de pintura y también en México, y también a nuestro amigo común Marco Patiño por ser un buen conducto. Continuando, cuando estaba pintando mi primer mural en el campus de UAEH en Actopan - fue triste oír a alguien decir que yo era un diseñador, y cómo podría yo posiblemente pintar un mural. ¡Sobre qué base me habían invitado! Y además, yo no hablaba español, lo cual era cierto. Aquí Marco Antonio Hernández fue una inmensa ayuda, en valiente traducción para mí. Al igual que Yolanda Alamilla.

Pero aún así, era triste, teniendo en cuenta que había tomado una enorme realidad, de hecho negociado (en mi débil español) todo el enorme muro (no había nada insano en hacerlo) en lugar de la cuarta parte que hemos sido asignados; Además, debería haber sido inmediatamente evidente que Paulina Genea, y yo estábamos haciendo un buen trabajo — a pesar de mi incapacidad para conversar con ella en español, Siendo mi primer mural; Trabajando eventualmente fuera de una escalera mientras sostiene pinturas y cepillos a una altura de unos 25 pies más. A decir verdad, no había equipo para una superficie tan grande, Sin embargo, la resolución de problemas con la ayuda capaz de Alecs Gómez (cuando estaba disponible). Pero llegamos, y nadie ha dicho nada más. En otra nota, uno de mis amigos de Nueva York, un tipo japonés que más tarde dijo: Venantius, fue una colaboración en partes!

Fui al siguiente encuentro, para cuadrar las cosas, para devolver, para estar fuera de la deuda. Y aprecié la oportunidad. Lo empujé un par de muescas más alto en ambos sitios (Biblioteca de Actopan, y en Col. Morelos), algo que podría haber hecho la primera vez. Paciencia y tiempo. El tiempo dirá. 

Recientemente, en mi tercer encuentro, casi me quedé en mi esquina al final de la ciudad en Col. Morelos. Y fue muy feliz. Creo que me perdí la mayoría de las actividades, porque olvidé que me han entregado un pedazo de papel de Juan Manuel Ruiz con las actividades programadas. Fue una bendición que me olvidaran. Nadie vino por mí. Terminé en buena forma, teniendo en cuenta que había empezado muy tarde en los murales, y tener que lidiar con otros problemas logísticos. Todo es gracia. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


A collaboration with Marco Patiño, Pachuca, Mexico. 
Conversation, sharing ideas, beers, and more ideas. 
Ballpoint, jell pen, and crayons on beer bottle separators.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Offering some of my texts on, focussed on drawing through various conduits. Hopefully a new fork in my journey through writing, if not a whole new jtrajectory. 

Speculatio through drawing, is a paper I presented on Sept 14, 2014 at Crossing the Line 2, at the American University in Dubai. 

Thank you all.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

UGLY :: Feo :: Gacho :: Culero

In, UGLY:: FEO issue, Combo #7, Pachuca, Mexico. 
Illus: Venantius J Pinto with Pete K. 
Thank you Pete for the interaction and chats. Thanks Marco & COMBO

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The flânerie and potlatches of the Itinerant Illustrator

photo: Mo Riza

Seeking minds or states of being is a response, a responsibility, which the illustrator as an itinerant soul simply must embrace to visualize meaning to texts or stand alone visual narratives. The objective of illustrators is to conveys emphatic meanings or visual corollaries. Traversing as they do many spaces, illustrators violate, invigorate, celebrate while dynamically mediating to shape paths that often intercede to create visual entities.

One must make an association with the flânerie of the flâneur walking the streets nonchalantly taking in the sights, the movement and pulse of the city. That aimlessness apparently frees the mind to associate. Being itinerant is not being vagrant. Rather it’s about making conjectures, and associations. An uprooted rootedness. I see the illustrator, as very much a nomad of the mind, a pilgrim, an outsider looking in before appearing as an insider delving into a thought, teasing at form, seeking Ephphata, from the Aramaic — to be opened.

Jeremiah 6:16: Stand at the cross roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.

A pilgrim then? What sustains? The sustenance is as Whiman put it “the tasteless water of souls.”

My artistic labor spans many styles, approaches, binaries, subjects, and movements as in force. This perennial juggling of potlatches, is a giving and gaining from Indic forms, and thought; lines from Kana and more forms of Shodo; seeking depth in language, and reasoning; a vocabulary of mark making from the more severe to the agitated; of employing the illogical to create logical devices, metaphors, characters and characterizations — all towards formulating possibilities and realities. Its all about dynamics and the answering is in the nature of the realizations that come when what is paramount is to give meaning. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Births and rebirths

My illustration for So, you’re birthing a book!, by Gouri Dange in HIMAL Southasian, Nepal - May 11 2011. The idea being the ferocity with which books are birthed or produced in South Asia. Any and everyone wishes to have their book see print. Towards that end this illustration attempts to reflect the pandemonium of the process seen through a frenetic machine going full steam.  

When work gets selected to appear on a stringently judged site, on a blog, or in a book, the doer can only but take solace in that they are walking with some of the best. For those like me who have seen many rejections on account of certain vagaries, any acceptance sheds light anew to keep going — facing, and accepting the roads ahead. I also believe that no one is doling out favors; and such nods could influence or create a favorable impression in the mind of some other. C’est la vie.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Seeking an accord: Consonances to the rhythm of the rails

Drawing begun on an Amtrak/ Rail Canada train

Two round-trip journeys sparkle in my minds eye: New York-Chicago Albuquerque, and New York-Toronto. Dad, an engine driver ferried freight from Mumbai's docks to the holding yards. His stories still impact me, catalyzing my thoughts arriving in the stillness. An Amtrak Residency, I feel would realign my soul; moreover certainly to the rhythm of its rails. Here, the American landscape would be a backdrop to my being — as a naturalized American. 

It is the shaping line moving though space that shapes my mind, relays meaning, conveys an essence of something which in turn extends/ unfurls/ amplifies it. Embarking on a journey is essentially about being synonymous with a line wrought by the behemoth running on tracks, moving through space, shearing it yet in engagement with the ground against its own image and of the traveler. A line represents the intent instilled through it as it spans two or more points. My search is for possibilities in phenomena that pass across and within my senses.

The geography of my imagination reflects on phenomena as experienced. Language informs my work, and I would like to continue using my dual path of  expression, which also includes drawing at a complex level. So I straddle text and image, buttressed by meaning sought through writing.

Pulsation: theologies of line, and of journey. The train denotes and connotes line, and linearity, yet in no way is limited to linear thinking. A train journey, enacted by the engine, the cars, its staff and passengers runs along a finite route as far as the eye can see, a seeing that would surely collate expanses, vistas, undulations in topologies, into thoughts.

Writing expands my reasoning, both analogous to my character and fortitude. I arrive at meaning via encounters I seek. I imagine that the residency would provide for various forms of interaction: with the train, the journey, the day sweeping by, thoughts as they reveal themselves much like ephphata (Aramaic, “an opening”) to mean awareness.