Paolo Ventura

Bio           Exhibitions           Works           Gallery exhibitions           News

Paolo Ventura was born in Milan in 1968. His father, Pietro, was a famous illustrator of children’s books in the ’seventies and ’eighties.  He studied at Brera fine arts academy and worked as a fashion photographer for many years, collaborating with acclaimed fashion magazines such as Elle, Marie Claire and Vogue before moving to New York.

In his tiny studio in Brooklyn, he started to put together and photograph little dioramas inspired by the Second World War, producing the images that were shown in his first solo show, at Hasted Hunt Kraeutler Gallery in 2006. In the following year the BBC included his work in a documentary on the history of photography, The Genius of Photography.
Ventura began to construct handcrafted scenes populated by puppets, little stage sets painstakingly made by hand using recycled materials evoking days gone by, in which the photograph represents the final act in a complex creative process. His scenes sometimes become true photo sets, in which the artist becomes a part of the fantastic world he creates, portraying himself or his family as characters in the stories he creates in his photographs, combining them with painting and collage.

The complex process of creation of his works involves a fascinating combination of historical research, handcrafting, manual work, scenographic composition, photography and painting.

Ever since his days in New York, Paolo Ventura has exhibited in prestigious galleries in the US and Europe and major museums have purchased his works. Upon returning to Italy, where he lives in Anghiari, near Arezzo, and in Milan, he continued to create his stories and scenes, producing stage sets for prestigious theatres, such as those he created for the musical “Carousel” at the Lyric Opera in Chicago or for Leoncavallo’s opera “I Pagliacci” at Turin’s Teatro Regio.

Solo exhibitions


War & flowers”, Galleria Consadori, Milan, Itlay



Carousel“, Camera Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, Turin, Italy

Ex Voto“, Flatland Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland

Quarantine Diary“, Weinstein Hammond Gallery, Minneapolis, Usa

The Automaton“, Műcsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest, Hungary

An Invented World“, Galerie XII, Los Angeles, Usa



The silent City” Flatland Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland

Racconti Immaginari“, Silos Armani, Milan, Italy

Racconti di Guerra“, MAG Museo Alto Garda, Riva del Garda, Italy



Eclipse“, Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, Usa

The Last Days of Vacation“, Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto, Canada

Pagliacci, Camera, Italian Center for Photography, Turin, Italy



Mystique Narratives II, Flatland Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland

“Paolo Ventura. Obras de la Colecciòn Cotroneo”, Sala Municipales de Exposiciones, Valladolid, Spain

Mystique Narratives, Flatland Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland



Un Mondo Infinito, Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmagen, The Netherlands

 La Città Infinita, Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis

 Short Stories, Gallery Baton, Seoul, Korea



L’Homme à la Valise, Fotokino, Marseille

 Träume, Die Galerie, Munich

 L’archivio Ritrovato di V.P., Palazzo dei Pio, Carpi



The Infinite City, Atlas Gallery, London

 Il Mago Futurista, MART Casa d’Arte Futurista Depero, Rovereto, Italy

 The Infinite City, Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, New York

 Lo Zuavo Scomparso, Gallery Baton, Seoul, Korea

 il Teatro della Memoria, FAR Fabbrica Arte Rimini, Rimini, Italy

 La collezione di Kim e Paolo Ventura, Museo della Città, Rimini, Italy



Recent Works, Italian Academy at Columbia University, New York

 Lo Zuavo Scomparso, MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art of Roma, Rome, Italy

 Behind the Walls, Forma Gallery, Milan, Italy

 The Funeral of the Anarchist, Obsolete, Los Angeles



The Automaton of Venice, Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, New York

 Behind the Walls, Photographica Fine Art Gallery, Lugano, Switzerland

 L’Automa, Museo Fortuny, Venice

 Selected Works, Gallery Baton, Seoul, Korea

 Winter Stories, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, South Carolina



Winter stories, Hasted Hunt Kraeutler Gallery, New York, USA 

 Winter Stories, Galerie Camera Obscura, Paris, France 

 Winter Stories, Studio la Citta’, Verona, Italy

 Fabulous Fictions, The Hague Museum of Photography, The Hague

 Winter Stories, Central Exhibition Hall, Moscow



Storie D’Inverno, Forma International Center of Photography, Milan, Italy

 Winter Stories, Hasted Hunt Gallery, New York



Souvenir de Guerre, Maison de la Photographie Npdc, Lille, France

 Viaggio nella Memoria, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy



In Tempo di Guerra, Forma International Center of Photography, Milan, Italy

 Souvenir de Guerre, Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles

 War Souvenir, Hasted Hunt Gallery, New York, USA

 War Souvenir, Lazia Nowa, Krakow, Russia

 War Souvenir, A-3 Gallery, Moscow, Russia

Group exhibitions


Music Box, Weinstein Hammons Gallery, Minneapolis, Usa

True Fictions, Fondazione Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, Italy



New 20th Anniversary Exhibition, The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Miami, Usa

Make Believe: Fantasy, fairy tales and Magic from five contemporary photographers. Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Usa

Commissione Roma 2003-2017 e le acquisizioni al patrimonio fotografico di Roma Capitale, Palazzo Braschi, Rome, Italy

GIOSTRE Stories, Images, Games, Palazzo Roverella, Rovigo, Italy



Of Individuals and Places, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada

New Perspective, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome, Italy

Age of Love, DongGang International Photo Festival, Seoul, South Korea

Photologies, Biennale de la Photographie, Aubagne, France

New Perspective, La Triennale, Milano, Italy



Variazioni su un tema, Galleria Antonio Verolino, Modena, Italy

Season Preview, Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto, Canada

Alfabeto Fotografico Romano, Collezioni e archivi fotografici di istituzioni culturali in Roma, Istituto Centrale per la Grafica, Palazzo Poli, Rome, Italy

Fifteen Countries: On Loan from the Collection of Martin Z. Margulies at Aipad, New York

Tonalità tangibili, Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Turin, Italy

Là dove interviene il Disegno: La Fotografia. Fondazione Bottari – Lattes, Turin, Italy



20 Years, Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, USA

Photomed, Festival of Mediterranean Photography, Sanary-sur-mer, France

Fotografia Europea, La Via Emilia. Strade, viaggi e confini, Reggio Emilia, Italy



Festival Photo La Gacilly, Bretagne, France 

Bienal Internacional Fotografica Bogota’, Fotomuseo, Museo National de la Fotografia de Colombia

Italia Inside Out, I Fotografi Italiani, Palazzo della Ragione, Milan, Italy

Questa è guerra, Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, Padova, Italy



La Guerra che Verrà Non è la Prima 1914-2014, MARTMuseum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rovereto

Turning Point, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

La Mémoire Traversée, Eléphant Paname/Mois de la Photo, Paris, France

Festival Internazionale di Fotografia di Roma, MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy

Historia, Miradas de Artistas, Marco, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo

Histoire, Regards d’Artistes, Hotel des Arts, Centre du Conseil General du Var, Toulun



Next Stop Italy, The Phllips Collection, Washington D.C., USA



Do You Remeber the First Time?, Atlas Gallery, London, UK

New Aquisitions from the MACRO Collection, MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy

La Collezione di Italo Zannier, PARCO Galleria D’Arte Moderno e Contemporanea, Pordenone, Italy

La Fotografia della Collezione Trevisan, MART Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rovereto, Italy

The Silent Village, DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague



Sembianze, Galleria D’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Repubblica di San Marino, Italy

54th Venice Biennial, Italian Pavilion, Venice, Italy

Otherwordly, Museum of Art and Design, New York, USA

New Yorker Fiction/Real Photography, Steven Kasher Gallery, New York, USA



Manipulating Reality, Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy

Collection from Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Instituto Itaù Cultural, Sao Paulo

La Photographie Italiens des Annees 50 a Nos Jours, Centre National de l’Audiovisuel, Luxembourg

Photography From the Permanent Collection, Lowe Art Museum, Miami, Florida

New York Photographs, Hasted Hunt Gallery, New York, USA 



Contemporary Photographic Views, Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, USA

Inside the Human Space, Isola di San Servolo, Venezia, Italy

The New Original Photo, Interalla Gallery, Seoul, South Corea

Una Historia Privada, Theatro Circo Price, Madrid, Spain

Ellis Island and Beyond, Aperture Gallery, New York, USA

Roma, Palazzo Delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy

Una Storia Privata, Museo Bilotti, Rome, Italy



NYC, Phillips De Pury Gallery, New York, USA

Hunter and Hanted, Sara Tecchia Gallery, New York, USA

On the Wall, Aperture Gallery, New York, USA

Luci su Milano, New art acquisitions of Unicredit Bank, Milan, Italy

Une Histoire Privee, Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris, France



Boston Museum of Fine Art, Boston, USA

Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione, Rome, Italy

Istituto Centrale per la Grafica, Rome, Italy

Koo House Museum of Art & Design, South Korea

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., USA

Lowe Art Museum, Miami

MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy

Maison Européen de la Photographie, Paris, France

Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Miami

MART Contemporary and Modern Art Museum of Trento and Rovereto, Italy

The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, USA

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada

Museo Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, Italy

Museo di Palazzo dei Pio, Carpi, Italy

Museo di Roma, Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali – Palazzo Braschi, Rome, Italy

Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., USA

Unicredit Bank Collection, Milan, Italy