Paolo Ventura

Ex Voto

Amsterdam, FLATLAND Gallery
dal 19 Settembre al 24 Ottobre 2020

The exhibition

Amsterdam's FLATLAND Gallery presents the new work of Paolo Ventura. The work was created just before Covid-19 ruled over the north of Italy and sadly took so many lives. Ex Voto is something you see in the many chapels in Italy, traditional paintings that show gratitude to specific Saints for protection against tragic events. Especially in the Latin world, there is a tradition of votive paintings, typically depicting a dangerous incident which the offerer survived.
The new series of Paolo Ventura, G.R. Grazia Ricevuta are inspired by these Ex-Voto -paintings presented in Italian chapels, but represent miracles much more surreal and strange with the same powerful narration than an original Ex Voto. In light of what is happening today, the timing of the creation of Ex Voto, G.R. Grazia Ricevuta is most extraordinary.
Paolo Ventura is one of the most celebrated Italian photographers today. Known for his post-photography art works, hand made sets, furnished with his own creations, tiny constructions that are translated by Ventura into the two dimensions of a photograph, often painted over to enhance it unique characteristics.

The catalogue

This book represents the first extensive monograph dedicated to the work of Paolo Ventura (Milan, 1968). Having established himself in the field of artistic photography, Ventura offered a singular and absolutely original interpretation of staged photography, an art form in which photography is the final product of a creative process which, in his case, involves the preparation of scenarios and mannequins: the latter, together with real characters among which the artist himself often appears, are the protagonists of his stories.
In these three-dimensional settings Ventura recreates, and then fixes through photography, a mental space that refers to the atmosphere of “magical realism” and to the fairytale flavor of childhood, generating a deliberately surreal contrast with the depth of some topics involved (such as war, abandonment, memory, identity).
The volume offers an overall look at the artist’s fifteen years of activity, showcasing twenty-one series from 2005 to the present time, highlighting the evolution of his language which, in addition to photography, is also expressed through drawings.


The Spaces of Imagination
Walter Guadagnini

Paolo Ventura
Francine Prose

Interview with Paolo Ventura
Monica Poggi


War Souvenir
Winter Stories
The Automaton
Civil War
Behind the Walls
L’archivio ritrovato di V.P.
Lo zuavo scomparso
Short Stories
Via Emilia
Morte e resurrezione #1
La città bianca
Morte e resurrezione #2
Collage Eclipse
Il suonatore di trombone
La storia del pittore
Ex voto
Grazia ricevuta
Quarantine Diary

List of Works


Exhibition and Public Collections

Selected Bibliography