Venancio Sánchez (Granada, 1975)
Painter with the heart of a sculptor, his hands have given shape to various figures of great realism. With the chisel as a tool and with bronze as the preferred material, Venancio Sánchez (Granada, 1975) has become today, and with no other help than his own effort, in one of the most requested sculptors in the province of Granada.
His fondness for sculpture began 35 years ago in Tocón, a small town in the west of Granada in which this sculptor was born and grew up. From an early age, Venancio Sanchez gave samples, through imagination and restlessness, of the artist inside. “I loved going down to the river and making figurines with the mud that accumulated on the edges,” he says.
This innate aptitude, led him to leave his neighbors and go to the capital to study at the School of Applied Arts and Crafts. When he was just 18 years old, he began to study Interior Decoration and, at the same time, “at rest, between class and class, he practiced with bronze in the modeling workshop,” he says. And it is that, although he obtained the title of decorator, his true passion was always sculpture.
With a conscientious character and based on doing small jobs in painting and sculpture for individuals, in 2004 came the most difficult work of his career: carving a monument to the Emigrant in Tocón.
Although “no one is a prophet in their land,” Venancio Sanchez ventured to build it. After two and a half months, he finished his first great work and the result was impeccable, mainly because “the vast majority of the neighbors liked my sculpture,” he recalls.
Following the monument in his hometown, his work, characterized by having closeness and easy access to be seen and touched, also made an impression on the neighboring town of Íllora. There he was commissioned to make a statue of San Rogelio, the town’s patron. Subsequently, the offers began to add, even in other provinces as in Malaga. And it is that the municipality of Alpandeire requested in 2009 a sculpture of Fray Leopoldo, who currently presides over the main square of the town.
Love for bronze
Passionate about bronze, Venancio Sánchez builds his work around this metal. And is that this bullfighter defines it as “an eternal material and although it is apparently cold, I try to give it shape to incite people to caress him,” he says.
His artistic technique, which is characterized by giving special emphasis to the friendly and simple position of his characters, also drew attention in Albolote. In this case, it was a sculpture by Francisco Carvajal, an illustrious Alboloteño and a philanthropist who turned to helping his countrymen. “The challenge was quite complicated because it was the first time I was going to sculpt a person who was alive,” he explains. The granadino sculptor was documented for months with photos and videos of this neighbor who currently resides in Puerto Rico. The result was a sitting sculpture with a friendly, relaxed and melancholic position that now rests in a bench in the Plaza de España de Albolote.
The last challenge of Venancio Sánchez has taken place in the capital, specifically in the church of San Juan María Vianney in the Zaidín neighborhood. “Behind my last work there is a very curious and beautiful story,” he says. And it is that the parish priests who hired him to make the sculpture of the patron of the clergy, contacted him after seeing an interview with him at IDEAL. «In this news it appeared that it was from Tocón. The priests, not having my phone and not finding information about me on the Internet, picked up a telephone directory and called a phone number from my town at random ». It was here when they managed to contact by chance with a friend of the sculptor’s parents who provided her with her mobile phone.
Currently, Venancio Sánchez already works in another work. His obsession, as a kind of ritual, is to visit his sculptures from time to time in solitude and almost always at dawn to rest with them. His happiness lies in humanizing his works so that they can live together perfectly with people.