But this should not preclude telling you how hauntingly beautiful and alluringly moving his images are. Ventura, whose forte is creating dramatic, early-twentieth-century, noir visual tales out of miniature props and articulated figurines (dolls, if you want to be simplistic), which are then moodily photographed as immense color Polaroids, recently published Winter Stories (Aperture), a large-format, startlingly designed and handsomely produced volume that follows the memories of a fictional circus clown (like none you’ve ever seen before, below).
Ventura is a virtuoso. The sheer intensity of his art (see his War Souvenir) will require that you focus on each and every detail, some for hours. Personally, I cannot take my eyes off of them. The illusion of scale is beguiling. I guarantee you’ll be as hypnotically drawn to the work as I am.