Theme/Style – Modernism, figurative art
Media – Oils, murals
Artistic Focus – A self-taught Modernist, Benjamin Vaganov sometimes worked under the pseudonym “Venia.” His early work in California’s lumber and mining industries proved to be a significant influence on the artist’s life and paintings, whose texture often suggests an application of paint intended to convey Vaganov’s reverence for their subjects by creating the sensation of a natural substance.
Career Highlights –
Born in Tsarist Russia, Benjamin Vaganov left his homeland to escape the dangers of the Revolution, living for several years in China before coming to the United States in 1923.
He settled first in Oregon, where he found work in the lumber industry, and then moved to San Diego in 1928, where he established a studio in the Spanish Village in Balboa Park.
Vaganov completed a number of Works Progress Administration art projects, including a mural painted in the House of Pacific Relations in San Diego, and dioramas in the San Diego County Visual Education building.
Vaganov remained active in San Diego art circles until he moved to San Francisco in the 1950s, where he spent his remaining years.
Selection of Works by this Artist
Bibliographic references are available upon request.