Sunday, March 2, 2014

In, CROP CIRCLES: An Art of our Times by Mary Carroll Nelson, 2007.

Agrometry 1. 2000. Seen at the Internatiaonal Print Center, New York City. Roland Print on Concorde Neutral White. Print size: 24" x 34", Image size: 16.3" x24.2". 

Edition: 20+2AP Printed by: Xian Chen

Venantius Joseph Pinto, a resident of New York City, has had a multidimensional perspective for most  of his life. The eldest of three sons, he was raised in Bombay, India,  in a Christian family originally Goans. The former Portuguese colony was liberated and became part of India the year Pinto was born, 1961. Goans Christians are a minority in Bombay, but Pinto says when he was growing up, “I saw myself as different rather than separate.”
Pinto completed six years of study in Bombay at the J.J. Institute of Applied Art, earning his degree in Applied Art before coming to the United States in 1987. In 1991, he graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Computer Graphics.

Pinto’s solid background in design and technique of applied art became the foundation for his work. He incorporated his art education from India with the potential of digital art and came up with a unique process. “I’d do things in a traditional medium; then at night I’d go to the lab and replicate them through the computer.”

Pinto’s work includes a wide range of mediums, from detailed tempera illustrations reminiscent of historic Indian miniatures to abstractions, layered in glimmering veils of digital color. He has established a network of connections in the tough, fast-paced business of graphic art. At the same time he is devoted to the reflective, philosophical intimacies of his studio. Wherever he goes, he maintains simultaneously the objectivity of a stranger and the passionate commitment to membership in the boundless world of art.

Venantius Pinto seems to live between dimensions, always aware of more than one meaning to the events of his life. He is and will remain a man of India, versed in her myths and iconography. As a Catholic, he has integrated within himself the heritage of  Western Europe. As an artist he looks for content, relatedness, and genuine expression.

“The first thing I felt when I saw the crop circles was that there is some kind of consciousness inherent in them, an intelligence, a mystery, a humor that is giggling at us. Even if they are made by hoaxers, i’m still seeing a talent and consciousness that is coming through them.”

Sita under the full moon. Mixed Media Print size: 11.5" x 15", Image size: 9" x 11.75". 1998. Edition: Unique. 

Printed by: Vijay Kumar
“The geometry is fascinating, especially in the fields. They could have happened in the moors. I ask myself, why are the fields used as a ritual landscape? And I am reminded of Sita, ancient Hindu goddess in the fields, whose independent goddesshood was robbed by the orthodoxy by coupling her with the more contemporary god Rama.”

“I think where the crop circles are  is as important as what they are. The English fields are so ordered. Where a crop circle appears, it is as though a big hand has embossed them.”

“The crop circle is technique on a huge scale. It is very specific. A lot of time has been spent on thinking it out. It forces us to think, too. I see digital artists using techniques inappropriate to the tool and medium, whereas crop circle artists have invented a technique exactly suited to its site and material.”

Agrometry 2. 2000 appears in Crop Circles: An Art of Our Times. Roland Print on Concorde Neutral White. Print size: 24" x 34", Image size: 16.3" x 24.2". Edition: 20+2AP Printed by: Xian Chen

One of Pinto’s series of digital prints features crop circles. The shimmering Agrometry 2 is from this series; it (correction: it was Agrometry 1, which) was shown at the International Print Center in New York City (in Winter 2001). 

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