Vena Kava

American Conceptual Artist 

Vena Kava born November 22, 198? in the Carpathian region of Eastern Europe (probably around the German/Polish region) is an American conceptual artist known mostly for her photography, music (singer, electric bass, upright bass, composer) and modeling work. Kava is also a Filmmaker, but she maintains her works strictly underground and so little people know her filmography. Kava currently works in between Boston, San Francisco, and Europe.


Early Years

Vena Kava was born on November 22, 198? somewhere in Eastern Europe.  Shortly after her birth, her family moved to Poland where she spent most of her early childhood.  When she was 7 years old her family moved to the United States where they have been ever since.


Kava became interested in the visual arts at college and started painting, taking classes at RISD (Rhode Island College of Design). Becoming frustrated with the what she saw as painting's limitation, she abandoned it and moved to Boston to attend Emerson College with a masters specialty in film production.  Later in the year, being disappointed with the program, Kava moved to San Francisco and took up experimental and Avant-garde Filmmaking.   She decided that the San Francisco Art Institute, a School know for it’s laisse-fare attitude towards art, was the only school in America that can offer her the flexibility that she needed in order to fulfill her desire for true experimentation. "[T]here was so much potential I felt in San Francisco, the East Coast Art scene during this time was not really working for me.”

She spent the rest of her college career focused on Filmmaking being heavily influenced by filmmaker Kenneth Anger with films such as Lucifer Rising, Invocation of My Demon Brother, Scorpio Rising and also filmmaker George Kuchar who taught at SFAI.   She also started taking classes in New Genre, which was a major available at the school.  This short exploration opened up doors and led Vena Kava into the world of performance art. 

Performance Art

Heavily influenced by dark realms of the universe, Vena Kava’s highly visual and edgy performances always drew from the dark side.  Performing in San Francisco in such shows as Dada Fest, Kava also formed her own performance band, which was musically driven and had a punk rock visage and a 60”s cult film vibe.  The performance troop did not last very long due to internal conflicts between members. However, during this time having the comfort of working with musicians, she learned to play bass, upright bass, and learned the language of music.


In 2005, Kava was the recipient of one of the prestigious STAND grants from The Film Arts Foundation for independent cinema.  She made a short experimental film “She Blow Smoke,” which was highly influenced by Keneth Anger and highlighted some of her early frustrations and personal conflicts.  Soon after this film she decided that there were other artistic drives that needed her attention. 



 Around the same time in which she completed her film, she formed a musical band “WhipKraft,” in which she led, performed, and sang.  The band was composed of only her musician friends, refusing to work with any one else.  In 2007 the band released a Goth/Metal/ Experimental album titled “Welcome to the Chapel Perilous.”


Having a love for all art, Kava experimented with many genres if art, but only a few of them stuck.  Photography was one of them, when Kava discovered the beauty of the still image. “[I] have been feeling like everything is moving so fast lately, year after year, even film is too fast for me 24 frames per second is a lot of frames for the eye to consume.  Photography was perfect, I can meditate on one frame for days and even months.” Kava works typically by photographing herself in a range of costumes, heavily influenced by Photographer Cindy Sherman.  But surprisingly she has managed to be quite successful photographing nature.


In 2008 Vena Kava has moved back to Boston and is working with her brother on the next WhipKraft album, which is to be a concept metal album titled “The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.”  She is to be writing the entire album herself.