In this luxuriously produced limited edition, Paolo Ventura invents an imaginative series of photographs depicting scenes from the memory banks of an old circus performer as he looks back on his life. What the performer revisits are not moments of great drama, but rather fleetingly recalled glimpses of an everyday life, “images that he had thought to have never seen, quick moments he unknowingly observed as he raised his eyes to the clock hung at the corner of the block.” Using his own childhood memories, beautiful miniature figures and sophisticated sets, Ventura re-envisions a simpler time in 1930s Italy, but his darker vision–with its shadowy backdrops and retreating figures–reminds us that this is not quite Eden. Skillfully crafted and hauntingly evocative, the work is filled with the sweet melancholy of an era, but remains timeless in its ability to resonate with contemporary audiences. This monograph contains an engaging sequence of images, ephemera from Ventura’s working process and a selection of the artful drawings he creates as guides to his elaborate sets.
Born in Cuba in 1968, raised in Italy and now a resident of New York City, Paolo Ventura studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan in the early 1990s. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at Forma International Center for Photography, Milan, the Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France and Maison Europénne de la Photographie, Paris. Ventura is represented by Hasted Hunt, New York.
Number of images: 65
Publication date: 2009-11-30
Measurements: 14.1 x 11.7 x 0.9 inches
Paolo Ventura (born in Milan, 1968) graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan in 1991. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at Forma International Center for Photography, Milan; Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France; and Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris. He also created a series of works for the Italian pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale. His works have been acquired by prominent collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; and the Margulies Collection, Miami. His monographs include War Souvenir (2006), The Automaton (2012), and Short Stories (Aperture, 2016).
Eugenia Parry, formerly professor of art history at Wellesley College and the University of New Mexico, has published and lectured widely on the histories of art and photography. Her numerous awards include a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in creative nonfiction.