José Venturelli is a Chilean painter and engraver, born March 25, 1924 in Santiago de Chile.
At the age of 14, he began evening drawing lessons at the School of Fine Arts in Santiago. In 1942, at the age of 18, he entered the same school as a regular pupil where he learned wall painting with Laureano Guevara, as well as engraving.
Very active in the Federation of Students, he collaborates with European intellectuals for peace and against fascism, such as Henri Barbusse, André Gide, Romain Rolland, Panait Istrait, as well as with Chilean photographer Antonio Quintana and poet Pablo Neruda .
In 1974, he went into exile in Geneva, where he notably produced the 90m 2 mural fresco by Balexert and the stained glass windows of the Temple of the Madeleine. He will travel and work in many countries (Brazil, Cuba, Europe, China …).
As a muralist, painter and engraver, he always maintained the same theme: the living conditions of the proletariat, social differences and the situation of the oppressed.
He was deeply inspired by the aesthetics of Mexican muralism, which he knew through his friendship with Siqueiros. From its beginnings, Venturelli devoted itself to creating a style close and accessible to the people. He exalted the features of the native Latin Americans and worked on the monumental aspect of the forms. His work remained figurative, with ocher, red, blue tones that refer to the earth and titles like “Levantando al caído” expressing his conviction, as he himself said: that “Artistic creation is a form of combat of the transformation of our materials, of our ideas, of ourselves. It’s a form of struggle. ”
Venturelli did not see painting as decoration of living rooms but as a shock, a call of conscience to help hope for a more just world.
He died on September 17, 1988 in Beijing, China.