Carol Venezia

Sep 19th, 2017

Carol Venezia


Carol Venezia has been making photographs for over 45 years. 

Early in her career she worked as a photojournalist and a free lance commercial photographer with clients including: DIA Art Foundation, Sol Lewitt, and Vignelli Associates.

For 25 years she was a professor at Long Island University, NY. In 1995, the Italian and US governments awarded her a Fulbright research Grant to document artisans in Italy. She has shown her work in the US and Europe for the past 20 years, including a one person exhibit, BOXERS, at the Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop , Germany and most recently, Somewhere Over The Sea, Galerie Heike Curtze, Vienna, 2017.

Carol is currently editing a film, Italian Conversations, including interviews with Ettore Sottsass,  founder of Memphis, Ellen Stewart,  founder of La MaMa, Sandro Chia, artist, Jim Moore, poet, Marilena Bonomo, gallerist, Alvin Curran, fisherman, Giacamina Badiali, pasta maker and many other Italian personalities.

She divides her time between studios in  Umbria, Italy and Brooklyn, NY.

Tell us about the images that we’re featuring?

These portraits of boxers were taken during the 90’s at Gleason’s Gym, Brooklyn, NY and at Centro Nazionale di Pugilato, Assisi, Italy.

As a female photographer coming out of the photojournalist tradition, my camera was the entrance into a world of sport that was unknown to me. My neighbor, a painter, invited me to photograph the boxers in her step- mothers “stable” when they were doing a promotion in New York on their way to the Olympics. After that entrance into the world of boxers, they became my focus for the next five years. I was fascinated by the discipline of the training, the warmth between the trainers and boxers, the mental and physical strategy of the fight.

What are you working on right now?

Images of water, bodies of water around the world: The Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Hudson River, Costa Esmeraldo, Sardinia, Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea, and the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.   

Most of the photographs are large, containing multiple merged files shot from above. My intention is to give the viewer a distanced, larger, sense of  the beauty of our precious bodies of water and the life giving necessity of water to us as humans.

Why did you start taking photos?

As a young girl growing up in Minneapolis, my first exposure to photographs were a catalogue my parents owned, from the historic Family of Man exhibition at Moma in the 60’s.  I memorized every black and white image in that book, all taken by famous photographers from around the world.  I started using my Dad’s Kodak Brownie camera in my back yard and I was hooked.

Many years later I was hired as the photographer for a small town newspaper in northern California and learned to shoot and develop film on the job.

  1. What other forms of art inform your work?

Painting, photography, film and music are all influences in my work. I don’t differentiate mediums; I consider art art, no matter the form.

Artists I admire are; Giotto, Agnes Martin, Fellini, Dylan, Robert Frank, Sol Lewitt, Dan Flavin, Leonard Cohen, Sugimoto, Diane Arbus, August Sander, Mozart.

  1. How do you determine if a work has been a success?

I consider a work a success when I consider it finished. 

I have been fortunate to have galleries representing my work in Italy and Austria.

It has been important to my creative process to have collaborated with other artists on a number of projects.

  1. How does technology affect your photography?

Photography is a technical medium. Although it has changed from analogue to digital during my career. My interest in the finished product, and whatever technology I need to arrive at that product I will use.  My early work was always done using daylight and a film camera, Hasselblad.  Now I shoot and print digitally.  Technology affects the quality and scale of my current work. I can now work larger, combine images and create images beyond a straight photograph. It is an expansion of my earlier analogue pieces. I look forward to see where technology will take image making in the future.