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Paolo Ventura gave up a successful career as a fashion photographer because he just had to photograph the images that haunted him. Images that the artist had imagined as a child when his grandmother told him about her adventures during the war.
In a barn on top of a secluded mountain he creates a timeless melancholic world that resonates the isolation in which he grew up. But is it a dreamworld or a nightmare?
Ventura conquered the international art scene with his photography series War Souvenir and Winter Stories. His work is included in collections by renowned museums in Italy, France and the US. The New Yorker described his work as "resonant and foreboding, his images of fogbound streets and canals are irresistible fictions" and ARTnews wrote: "The artist is something of a master illusionist, a photographer who creates elaborate stories out of the simplest materials. The result is mysterious and occasionally surreal - a hybrid that veers between the sharpness of reality and the strange logic of dreams.
In the documentary ‘Paolo Ventura - Vanishing man”, director and cameraman Erik van Empel creates a complex portrait of this fascinating artist and dissects the themes of Ventura’s body of work.