lcaruana lcaruana

L. Caruana was born 1962 in Toronto Canada, of Maltese descent. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Philosophy, and then studied painting at die Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. In the year 2000 he apprenticed directly under Ernst Fuchs, working as his assistant in his studios in Monaco and Castillon.

The artist has made his home variously in Toronto, Malta, Vienna, Munich, Monaco and Paris. During his wanderings he has actively recorded his dreams and expanded their imagery through mythology. His paintings are inspired by memories and dreams, experiments with entheogens, and the interplay of different cultural symbols and styles.

His interest in sacred art and iconography has led to extensive travels, studying the spiritual traditions of Gothic and Renaissance Christianity (Western Europe), Byzantine Christianity (Eastern Europe), ancient Egypt (Egypt), Hinduism (India), Buddhism (Nepal, Tibet), Mayan and Aztec culture (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras).

After meeting his French fiançée in Munich, L. Caruana moved to Paris, where he maintained a studio in the Bastille quarter for 12 years. After the birth of their son, the couple bought a farmhouse in the Burgundy region south-east of Paris, to pursue a fascination with Permaculture (while maintaining an apartment in Paris).

After leading The Expanded Visions in the Mischtechnik Seminar for seven successful years at the eco-village of Torri Superiore Italy, the couple re-located to the Josefstadt district of Vienna in 2013 to co-found The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art, located next to the Hofburg Palace in the Palais Palffy. In 2016, the academy re-located to the Otto Wagner building at Döblergasse 2 in the alternative Neubau district, and expanded across three floors to include the VAVA Cultural Space and VAVA Werkstätte.  As Academy Director, Laurence Caruana shared administrative duties with Florence Ménard while co-teaching or lecturing with well-known figures in the Visionary Art world.

After the closing of the academy in 2020 due to the Global Epidemic, Laurence Caruana and his family returned to their farmhouse in Burgundy, where he is now fully dedicated to painting and writing while working on a new project, The Apocryphon Chapel.

Contact: visionnaire@lcaruana.com

CREATED IN 2009, THIS IS A 35-MINUTE VIDEO OF THE LIFE & ART OF L. CARUANA:

CHRONOLOGY

1962 – Born February 16, 1962 in Toronto Canada, of Maltese descent

HUMBER VALLEY – TORONTO
– Grew up next to Lambton forest, James gardens, and the Humber river. Frequent walks in the forest and frequent visits to island homeland of Malta in the Mediterranean
– Showed a marked fascination with drawing and dreams as a child.

1976 – 1981 – HIGH SCHOOL – TORONTO
– First formal studies in painting, sculpture, and art history under Theodore Samotowka
– Discovered Surrealism, and the works of Salvador Dali
– First works inspired by Surrealism; drawings became dream-like and enigmatic.

1981 – 1985 – UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
– Studied Ancient Greek and German Philosophy. Read Pre-Socratics, Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger and Jung.
– Graduated Bachelor of Arts (Hons)
– Began recording dreams
– Wrote Scream of Consciousness, illustrated with sculptures expressing mythic and archetypal themes.

1986 – MAGICUS THEATRE – TORONTO
– Wrote, directed, and acted in plays (Reznikoff, Buried Mirrors) while making films (Psychologica, What Dwells in Man, Eternal Return). All works explored the themes of madness, dreams and the unconsciousness.

1987 – WESTERN EUROPE
– Extensive travels, studying Gothic and Northern Renaissance art (Van Eyck, Van der Weyden, Bosch) as well as Italian Renaissance (Da Vinci, Michelangelo). Travel journal: European Pilgrimage.

1988 – 1989 – TORONTO
– Upon return, abandoned the collaborative arts of theatre and film to concentrate on painting and writing in solitude
– Began a series of Gothic paintings, such as The Dance of Death
– Published Fragments, a collection of essays, poems and plays
– Began wandering through Europe.

1990 – 1991 – VIENNA (Neubau Viertel)
– Studied painting at the Akademie der Bildende Künste
– Discovered Fantastic Realism and the works of Ernst Fuchs
– Frequently sketched ancient Greek, Egyptian and Aztec works in museums, while studying mythology in the writings of Campbell, Eliade, Zimmer and Frye
– Developed Old Masters approach to painting while mixing myths and symbols from different cultures.

1991 – EASTERN EUROPE
– Extensive travels, visiting monastaries and studying Byzantine art and iconography. Travel journal: Voyage to Byzantium.

1992 – 1993 – MALTA (Mellieha)
– Began Meditations of a Heretic, a novel set in Malta, based on its cultural myths
– Began paintings inspired by visionary dreams and expanded through sacred art and myth.

1993 – 1996 – MUNICH (Alt Schwabing, Haidhausen)
– First extensive experiments with entheogens
– Met Florence Ménard
– Began Enter Through the Image, a lengthy study of the logic underlying arrangements of images in myth, art, and dreams
– Further pursuit of paintings based on ‘the interplay of art, myth and dreams’.

1996 – 2000 – PARIS (Montmartre, Quartier Latin)
– Marriage to Florence Ménard
– Continued symbolic experiments in painting
– Bought and renovated studio
– Worked with Ernst Fuchs on murals in the Apocalypse Chapel in Klagenfurt, Austria

2000 – 2001 – MONACO (Castillon)
– Apprenticed under the master Visionary artist Ernst Fuchs for one year, assisting on his larger paintings in his studio on the Quai des Artistes in Monaco and his home Castel Caramel in Castillon
– Wrote A Manifesto of Visionary Art
– Exhibitions: l’Art Imaginaire (Monaco)

2001 – 2002 – PARIS (Bastille)
– Launched The Visionary Revue, ‘The Electronic Journal of Visionary Art’
– Published The Manifesto of Visionary Art on-line and in a limited edition of 200 signed and numbered copies
– Exhibitions: Art of the Imagination (London), Parfums de Femmes (Paris)

2003 – N. AFRICA, ASIA
– Travelled through Egypt, India, Nepal and Tibet for three months, studying Egyptian, Hindu and Buddhist art Travel journal: A Visionary Journey to the East

2003 – 2006 – PARIS (Bastille)
– Published the second and third issues of The Visionary Revue, the Johfra and Kalmakoff issues
– Launched the French version of The Manifesto of Visionary Art
– Wrote: The Hidden Passion: A Novel of the Gnostic Christ, Based on the Nag Hammadi Texts
– Exhibitions: Chimeria (Sedane), Dali’s Heirs Paint Europa (Wolnzach, Munich), La Mort Transfigurée (Paris)

2006 – CENTRAL AMERICA
Travelled through Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras for two months, studying Mayan and Aztec art. Travel journal: Mayan Vision Quest

2007 – 2010 – PARIS (Bastille)
– Release of The Hidden Passion: A Novel of the Gnostic Christ Based on the Nag Hammadi Texts
– Launched GnosticQ.com: A Source for Gnostic Studies
– Launched the 4th issue of The Visionary Revue on Entheogens
Entheologue with Alex Grey at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in New York
– Held first of many Visions in the Mischtechnik painting seminars in Torri Superiore Italy in 2008
– Release of Enter Through the Image: The Ancient Image Language of Myth, Art & Dreams
– Exhibitions: Guest of Honour at Chimeria – Festival International des Arts Visionnaires (Sedan, France), plus: Metageum (Malta), Liminal Village Boom Festival (Portugal), Interdimensional Art Tour (San Francisco, Montreal, Seattle, Eugene), The Fountain Oracle Gathering (Washington)
– Conferences & panel discussions: Metageum (Malta), Colloquium on Hallucinations (Paris), Liminal Village Boom Festival (Portugal), Chimeria Festival (Sedan, France)

2010 – 2012 – BURGUNDY (Nièvre)
– After the birth of our son, bought a farmhouse south-east of Paris in the Burgundy region of France
– Moved to the farmhouse while maintaining an apartment in Paris. Began pursuing Permaculture
– Release of The First Manifesto of Visionary Art in a new edition
– Solo Exhibition La Pouvoir des Mythes at Galerie de l’Art Visionnaire de Paris including Live Painting & Chants, later filmed by IF tv
Solo Exhibition at l’Espace Beauvais, St. Saulge, France
– Organized group exhibition EnQuête du Sacré at Galerie de l’Art Visionnaire de Paris and at Chimeria – Festival International des Arts Visionnaires (Sedan, France)
– Painting workshop Express Your Energy in Paint with 300 people at the Boom Festival, Portugal
– Painting workshops Enter Through the Image at The Omega Institute, Rheinbeck N.Y. (Sept 2012 and May 2013)
– Art Spirit Now – Exhibition and presentations, Boulder Colorado, May 2013
– CoSM Workshop with Maura Holden, plus Visionary Salon with Alex & Allyson Grey (Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, June 2013)
– Two works included in the Dreams & Divinities book and exhibition (Toledo Spain)
– On-going Visions in the Mischtechnik painting seminars, every summer in Torri Superiore Italy

2013 – 2015 – VIENNA (Josefstadt)
– Moved to Vienna
– Co-founded The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art in the Palais Palffy across from the Hofburg Palace. Served in the capacity of Director and Principle Lecturer
– Release of The First Manifesto of Visionary Art in Portuguese translation
– Organized series of events at The O.Z.O.R.A Festival Hungary (Aug 2014) including workshops, exhibitions, lectures and the live painting of a collective Healing Mandala (White Tara) which was ritually activated

2016 – 2020 – VIENNA (Josefstadt)
– Expansion of The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art moving from The Palais Palffy to the Otto Wagner Building at Döblergasse 2 – opening of the Cultual Space. Continued to serve in the capacity of Director and Principle Lecturer
– Moved into new Studio on Strozzigasse in the Josefstadt district of Vienna
– Release of Sacred Codes: The Forgotten Principles of Painting, Revived by Visionary Art – Volume I – The Drawing Stage including a Book Launch and Retrospective Exhibition at The Gallery of The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art Cultural Space
– Release of Moreau’s Labyrinth: A Visual Guide Through Jupiter & Semele – It’s Narrative, Composition & Philosophy
– Closure of the The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art due to Global Pandemic

2021 – BURGUNDY (Nièvre)
– Return to farmhouse in Burgundy
– Launched the Online Fundraiser Workshop Series to help cover closing costs of the Academy
– Offered online courses such as Free-Hand Sacred Geometry and Watcher at the Gate together with Florence Ménard
– Launched sale of Online Fundraiser Workshops – First and Second Series
– Returned to painting and writing full-time

EXHIBITIONS

  • l’Art Imaginaire – Monaco, September 2000
  • Art of the Imagination – London, England, February 2002
  • La Parfume des Femmes – Paris, France, May, 2002
  • Chimeria – Sedan, France, October 2004
  • Dalis Erben Malen Europa – Wolnzach, Germany, October 2005
  • Chimeria – Sedan, France, October 2005
  • La Mort Transfigurée – Paris, France, October 2006
  • Chimeria – Sedan, France, October 2006
  • Metageum – Malta, November 2007
  • Boom Festival – Idhana-a-Nova, Portugal, August 2008
  • Guest of Honour at Chimeria – Festival International des Arts Visionnaires – Sedan, France, March 2009
  • Interdimensional Art Tour – San Francisco California, Montreal Quebec, Seattle Washington, and Eugene Oregon, May 2009
  • The Fountain Oracle Gathering – Dragons Sphere park, Washington, August 2009
  • Solo Exhibition La Pouvoir des Mythes – Espace Beauvais, St. Saulge, France, January 2012
  • Solo Exhibition La Pouvoir des Mythes including Live Painting & Chants – Galerie de l’Art Visionnaire de Paris – Paris, June 2012
  • Third Eye Gallery – Boom Festival – Idhana-a-Nova, Portugal, August 2012
  • EnQuête du Sacré – Galerie de l’Art Visionnaire de Paris, September 2012
  • EnQuête du Sacré – Chimeria – Festival International des Arts Visionnaires – Sedan, France, October 2012
  • Art Spirit Now – Boulder Colorado, May 2013
  • Dreams & Divinities – Toledo, Spain – May 2013
  • Inner Worlds – Graduate Exhibition, Vienna Academy of Visionary Art, June 2014
  • Mirabel Tower – O.Z.O.R.A Festival, Hungary, August 2014
  • Visionary Art Museum – Boom Festival, Idhana-a-Nova, Portugal, August 2014
  • Transmissions: A Tribute Exhibition Dedicated to Ernst Fuchs – Galerie 10 – Vienna,  May 12 – 30, 2016
  • Solo Exhibition L. Caruana – Ad Sacrum: Toward the Sacred – The Gallery of The Vienna of Visionary Art Cultural Space – Vienna, April 2018

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

  • Les entheogènes et l’art visionnaire – Presentation, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, May 2006
  • Ernst Fuchs et l’école viennoise du réalisme fantastique – Presentation, Mairie de Nogent-sur-Marne, Paris, Oct. 2006
  • L’art visionnaire et les hallucinations – Presentation, Colloque sur les Hallucinations dans la Philosophie et les Sciences Cognitives, Paris, May 2007
  • Entheologue with Alex Grey – Presentation & discussion, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, New York, August 2007
  • The Ancient Image-Language of Myth, Art & Dreams – Presentation, Metageum Conference, Malta, Nov. 2007
  • Entheogens in Megalithic culture – Panel discussion – L. Caruana, Erik Davis & Gyrus, Metageum Conference, Malta, Nov. 2007
  • Les entheogènes et l’art visionnaire – Presentation, Colloque sur les Hallucinations dans la Philosophie et les Sciences Cognitives, Paris, March 2008)
  • Practical Uses of Altered States of Consciousness – Panel discussion, Colloque sur les Hallucinations dans la Philosophie et les Sciences Cognitives, Paris, March 2008
  • Visionary Art Culture Creators Panel – Panel discussion – L. Caruana, Luke Brown, Carey Thompson, Andrew Jones, Zariat & Leo Plaw moderated by Delvin Solkinson, Liminal Village, Idhana-a-Nova, Portugal, August 2008
  • L’art visionnaire, héritier des traditions sacrées – Presentation, Chimeria: Festival International des Arts Visionnaires, Sedan, France, March 2009
  • L’art visionnaire et la quête personnelle du Sacré – Presentation, Chimeria: Festival International des Arts Visionnaires, Sedan, France, March 2009
  • Entretiens sur l’expérience visionnaire – Panel discussion – L. Caruana, Jan Kounen & Romuald Leterrier, Chimeria: Festival International des Arts Visionnaires, Sedan, France, March 2009
  • Enjeux pratiques des états modifiés de conscience – Panel discussion – L. Caruana, Luis Eduardo Luna, M. Villaescusa & Enrique del Bosque moderated by Juan Gonzalez, Colloque sur les Hallucinations dans la Philosophie et les Sciences Cognitives, Paris, March 2009
  • Ayahuasca et Créativité – Presentation followed by discussion with Jan Kounen and Tom Verdier at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, February 2012
  • Sacred Codes – A Series of 12 lectures on The Principles underlying Sacred Art in various Cultures, delivered at The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art, Sept 2013 – June 2014
  • What is Visionary Art? – Presentation, Chambok House, O.Z.O.R.A Festival, Hungary, August 2014
  • The Vision Journey East and West – Presentation, Chambok House, O.Z.O.R.A Festival, Hungary, August 2014
  • Sacred Codes – A New Series of 12 Lectures on The Principles underlying Sacred Art in various Cultures, delivered at The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art, Sept 2014 – June 2015
  • Visionary Art & A Vision of Art: Possible Paths for Art in the 20th Century – Opening Speech at the SGEM Conference, Hofburg Palace, Vienna (April 2016)
  • Alchemy, Visions & Art – A Seven Part Lecture Series, presented and recorded during the 2019 Winter Trimester on The Alchemy of Paint at The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art – January – March 2019