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Folio: Paolo Ventura's visual quarantine diary

Paolo Ventura painted a piece each day during quarantine and discovered a new way of working

Ventura viamatteotti

Ventura viamatteotti

Paolo Ventura left the city of Milan in February for his home in Tuscany. The photographer, suddenly without a camera and within a home from which he could not leave, began working with the only materials he could find. Acrylic paint and some left-over wrapping paper used for re-doing the flooring offered Ventura an outlet, and he commenced a ritual of painting once a day – a visual quarantine diary.

This piece, painted on the 14 of March, is of Ventura’s morning coffee. A top the green round table stands the skeletal figure of a moka pot, a coffee cup, glasses and a double-sided pencil with which to ‘record some thoughts’. Slowly painting became an ‘intimate pleasure, a little solitude, an important pleasure’ for the photographer. Having never painted before, the discovery of this new practice during isolation was liberating: ‘I am like a kid. I wasn’t a painter, so it gave me the naivety to do something without worrying, I did it for myself’. ‘My work as a photographer is elaborate and complex, with painting I try to isolate elements and eliminate everything around it’. As Italy opened up, Ventura ceased the visual diary, but he is still painting. 

Image courtesy of Paolo Ventura and Edwynn Houk Gallery

This piece is featured in the AR June 2020 issue on Inside – click here to buy your copy today