Born in 1942, Luciano Ventrone lives and works in his native Italy. A highly successful painter, with an impressive CV of international exhibitions, his work is collected worldwide. Pontone Gallery is proud to present this exceptional collection of compelling still-life paintings.

The artist effects a forensic examination and meticulous rendering of the fruit and flowers which form his subject. Fastidiously arranged and carefully lit, he reveals the simple, everyday beauty of cherry, grape, lemon and rose. He lavishes his attention on describing rich and subtle colour and texture, articulated by a masterful representation of light. These paintings are bravura acts of technical accomplishment, which echo those of Caravaggio and the great Dutch still-life painters: Andreas Bosschaert and Jan Davidz de Heem.

Ventrone’s pictures strive to locate the essence of his subject through the discipline of technique, artfully-structured composition and exclusive focus. At the same time he makes images of succulent, mouth-watering materiality, almost hyper-real in their insistent pictorial immediacy. Ideas of control and appetite interplay: we are caught between discipline and desire, our hunger provoked, all too aware that we are viewing a vividly realistic illusion.

The very act of representation points to the fact that the actual is absent. These images preserve and celebrate the object of desire, at the instant when it might be at its most desirable. A certain romantic melancholy accompanies Ventrone’s skilful iterations. Well aware that such forms decay and their ripe appeal is transitory, the painter fixes them in an ideal state; they are archetypes of unattainable perfection.

In his capturing of a moment, an interlude of stillness and calm, the artist reveals the tension between the real and unreal and our wish to make tangible that which eludes us.