First Look: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Word has been spreading fast about artist George Venson. I first heard about him and his artisanal wallpaper from good friends who are designers: Matthew Patrick Smyth as well as Matthew White and Frank Webb, who featured some of Venson’s work on their website. I loved his work, and made a trip to his studio, where the walls are covered with his watercolors. “I was really into cave paintings,” he says, referring to what inspired foray into wallpaper design, “especially after seeing Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 3-D. That’s when it all came together in my mind. My latest work investigated ceremonial garb. But I have never done any of this before, so it is very exciting.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

George hails from San Antonio, Texas, and has a degree from Rice University in economics and visual arts. He moved to New York in 2008 and is temporarily holed up in a friend’s Union Square loft after living variously in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. This space is ideal, with plenty of room to spread out”but hardly any furniture to speak of. Photo: Wendy Goodman

George’s lyrical work is full of fantasy. He also is working on a series of geometric and sculptural designs for lampshades and abstract screens. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Here is one of George’s folding screens painted on silk. He is working with Studio Print Works for some of his projects and also collaborates with the artist Nicola L., with whom he hopes to make a line of wallpaper. “She is a gem.” Photo: Courtesy of George Venson

Packing boxes make good tables. George has few personal effects around the loft, but his shoes were out waiting for their annual visit to the cobbler. Photo: Wendy Goodman

One wall of the studio is devoted to his digitally printed work. Photo: Courtesy of George Venson

George makes the most of the one armchair in the space, using it to sit back and study his paintings up on the wall. Photo: Wendy Goodman

First Look: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man