Who we are
Martina Hoffmann, Robert Venosa, and Pascal Ferry are artists belonging to an artistic movement born at the dawn of humanity.
This type of art has spanned the ages from ancient cave paintings to the present day.
One of its remarkable traits is the artists' attempt to depict their confrontation with dimensions that are generally out of human comprehensive reach. This has resulted in dream and vision-like images and sculptures depicting beings, half human-half animal, shapeshifting 'shamans' and therianthropes, otherworldly and often larger-than-life entities' energy patterns such as snakelike patterns and spirals.
In the first human artistic expressions, there seems to be a connection between the state of shamanic trance and artistic creation. Some scholars suggest that the shaman and the artist may have been the same.
This indicates a powerful connection between artistic creation and the mystical experience, a connection that has always been particularly vivid in indigenous cultures and produced art that often depicts an animistic worldview and attempts to express expanded states of consciousness.
From the first known depictions of cave art to contemporary artists creating in this way, their art is often being named by the very vast and general term 'Visionary'. In our view, this is not a distinct school of art but rather a current that has expressed itself through individual artists belonging to many different art movements and schools throughout the ages, the binding factor being that the artist expresses and honors the value of the spiritual dimension in life and art.
Through the ages, from early cave art to works by mystics and visionaries such as Hildegard von Bingen, Hieronymus Bosh William Blake, Gustave Moreau, Pavel Tchelitchew, Ernst Fuchs, Mati Klarwein, Robert Venosa, and Alex Grey, only to mention a very few, the search for spirit, depictions of their inner planes and the connection to spirit has been at the heart of their creations. And we, the living artists of VIVA, Martina Hoffmann and Pascal Ferry, are proud to also perpetuate this lineage.
During the 20th century, the political, cultural, and spiritual revolution of the 1960s can be seen as an important event that stimulated interest in "visionary art" and created its renaissance. With the emergence in the 21st century of research into the benefits and legalization of psychedelics, the doors to art galleries and events celebrating the new expression of a particular (visionary) art, inspired by entheogens, have opened further.
Our current perpetual, rapid global changes have forced the world community to face many ecological, societal, economic, and political problems and brought about a dramatic shift in consciousness that embraces the idea of an interconnected and interdependent global humanity. This has also opened our minds to look for solutions beyond a materialistic worldwide and to embrace a more holistic angle that includes states of expanded consciousness and the possibilities that lay beyond our day-to-day reality.
The visionary art of these 3 artists, Robert Venosa, Martina Hoffmann, and Pascal Ferry whom you will now meet, tends to reflect this new consciousness.
1936 – 2011
Thanks to his creative strength, New York-born, Robert Venosa, was one of the illuminating forces and leading iconic figures of Fantasy and Visionary Art. His work has been exhibited worldwide and is represented in major collections, including those of noted museums, rock stars, and European aristocracy.
In addition to painting and sculpting, he created film design (pre-sketches and conceptual design for the movie ‘DUNE’, ‘Fire in the Sky’ as well as the I max movie ‘Race for Atlantis’). His work has been featured in numerous
publications - most notably OMNI magazine - and on a number of CD covers, including those of SANTANA, KITARO and CYNIC.
Venosa traveled the globe with his wife, the artist Martina Hoffmann, and together they taught numerous painting workshops, introducing the age-old Misch Technique, at such institutes as Esalen and Omega in the USA and other centers worldwide. During their 30-year partnership, they also spoke on behalf of visionary art and culture at international conferences.
Throughout his artistic career, Venosa was closely associated with the great masters of the Fantastic and Surreal, Salvador Dali, HR Giger, Mati Klarwein, and Ernst Fuchs.
Robert Venosa’s work has been the subject of three books, Mana’s Mana, Noospheres, and Illuminatus (with text by Terrence Mc Kenna).
He lived and worked in both Cadaques, Spain, and Boulder, Colorado, USA.
In his own words:
“The high mission of visionary art is, by its illusions, to foreshadow a higher universe reality which transports the observer to transcendent realms of the imagination where form and color become a mystic language understood by that part of our higher self that is ever beckoning us onward to the sacred indescribable.”
“Bravo Venosa! Dali is pleased to see spiritual madness painted with such a fine technique.”
The “Visionary Symbolism” of Martina Hoffmann is decidedly feminine and places the ‘Universal Woman’ in an intimate cosmos. She transcribes her ecstatic experiences but also her reflections on our connection to the ALL in a realistic style that marries the fantastic with the sacred.
Martina has been presenting at consciousness conferences ('The Promethean Impulse' at the HR Giger Museum in Switzerland in 2012), Festivals such as Burning Man, and Boom Festival.
She has exhibited her work worldwide.
Her art has been subject to music, book, and magazine covers and published in books such as ‘Modern Consciousness Research and The Understanding of Art’ by Stanislav Grof and ‘The Divine Spark’ by Graham Hancock.
Martina Hoffmann has been exhibiting her work since 1985 with a retrospective at the HR Giger Museum in Switzerland in 2018. She is also represented in the permanent exhibition of the NAIA Museum in Rochefort-En-Terre in France.
Her art book, 'inner Landscapes’ was first published in 2017.
Today, the artist keeps a home and studio in both, the USA and France.
In her own words:
"The visionary artist makes visible the more subtle and intuitive states of our existence and creates maps and symbols reflecting consciousness and the mystical experience.
My work is an attempt to portray love as the unifying force beyond the confines of cultural and religious differences.
As a visionary and artist, I hope to shine some light on the interdependency of all life on this planet and its interconnectedness with the universe at large.
By embracing our oneness as a global family and becoming aware of these deep connections, we have a chance to heal and transform the current state of disconnection. In this pursuit, art appears as a tool for transformation and offers us the opportunity to create a reality as beautiful, healthy, and strong as our imagination can see.”
“If we look at the most powerful force in Martina’s life and work, it is her passionate spiritual
quest and search for the deep mysteries of her own psyche and the human psyche in general.
Her art speaks with extraordinary eloquence and power to modern humanity’s deep craving for
the return of the Sacred Feminine to our troubled world."
has been a world citizen and lived amongst various cultures since her childhood in West Africa. She's been a traveler between the worlds since then. Her paintings are portals into other realms and offer the viewer detailed glimpses into her inner landscapes - imagery that has been inspired by expanded states of awareness such as the dream state, meditation, and shamanic journeys in the Amazonian Rainforest.
She studied art education with Professor Kiefer (father of Anselm Kiefer) as well as sculpting with Professor Spelmann at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.
Today, Martina Hoffmann works primarily as a painter. Her interest lies in creating awareness of our global oneness and universal interconnectedness and in portraying the mysterious energy that animates all life.
is a French autodidact painter who draws his inspiration from visionary, symbolist, and mystic traditions.
His publishing company, ‘Sidh & Banshees’, has represented a large group of international visionaries, fantastic and fairy-realm artists from 2000 to 2014 such as Christophe Vacher (Number 9, The Transformers...), Marc Fishman (Narnia), Patrick Woodroffe (The Never-Ending Story), Larry Mc Dougall, Johfra, et al.
Pascal Ferry’s work has been featured internationally in numerous galleries, festivals, and events in the USA, Japan, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and France
His work has been represented permanently at the NAIA MUSEUM in Rochefort-en-Terre in Brittany, France since 2015. He has also created many CD covers for progressive rock, fusion, and metal bands.
Today, Pascal Ferry entirely focuses on his personal artistic creations. He lives and works in Carnac, Brittany, France, uniquely known in the world for its mysterious megalithic stone alignments.
His paintings represent his inner journeys in search of ‘lost civilizations and their spiritual connection.
"As an artist, I see myself doing the work of an archeologist who metaphorically removes the dust from the raw canvas in order to gradually let my visions of our ancestral memories emerge.
Since my early childhood, I like to think that my utopian dreams are merely the fruit of my future reality ..."