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Valerio Ventura


VALERIO VENTURA ARTE URBIS All Writing, Photography, Graphics, and Art by Valerio Ventura. Copyright 2010 Valerio Ventura All images in this book are Š 2010 Valerio Ventura. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws. Published by Ventura Exit P.O.Box 7820 Alhambra, CA 91802 Book designed by V2 First Digital Edition 2011

cammina e vedi gente che costruisce scambiando idee che cerca qualcosa

walk around to see people stacking blocks exchanging ideas looking for something

condividendo lo spazio coreografando passi laterali liberando il traffico pedoni camminano scivolando di lato

sharing space coreographed side-stepping unjammin traffic pedestrians walking sideways sliding

guarda su e afferra il vuoto per prendere un respiro e sentire l’altezza e guardando di nuovo

look up to feel the void to catch a breath to feel the height and look again

tu vedrai te stesso in una nuvola fatta di acqua eSci dal CUBO

you’ll see yourself in a cloud made of water eXit the BOX

domanda PERCHE... e ma sE ask WHY... what iF

Bullet hole in plate glass window. Indianapolis USA 2006

i always thought of a city as a place we take for granted, even though i’m an artist and i constantly explore the environment wround me, i know that most of the time i walk aroun without being aware of what i see, touch or hear… i’ve always been fascinated by simbology, street signs, hidden messages, underground artists leaving their marks, their statement of individualism… or their dreams... left behind, but still an evident and many times a temporary mark... and also other involuntary art, signs painted by street workers, then altered by years of natural wear… weather-shaped graphic design masterpieces that began as painted signs on all kind of surfaces... i’m attracted by textures and how they might contrast each other and maybe tell me a story... and so I got out, in search of my first shot and found my first street rune “it’s beautiful” I thought. a round red circle with the number 9010 under it… in the city of pasadena ca. for an instant i felt like an “urban archeologist” exploring the obvious, the things taken for granted... on the doorsteps of my home. what this means? … and why? for what purpose? for who? i was standing on a space marked for a reason... a cross marked the center, and it communicated “here”, a red circle marked “what”, and the color communicated a message… in this case, “electricity.” we all know, an “x” marks “you are here”, and that we use the circle to mark “a place”, or where we’re going, “the destination on a map”… I knew in that moment that I had something, even if just an intersesting methaphore, a springboard for my message. you must know where you are and where you’re going, you must have a purpose… a reason… humans can’t exist without reason… without purpose. the second I took that shot, i knew where i was, and i knew at that precise instant where i was going… that you must be aware, you must know, you must see more… you must get out, open the door, meet your neighbor, smile at your loved ones, live and love life and challenge apathy… never give up… understand friendship, understand this could be your last moment of awareness… your last breath…

…make a mark… reject any form of violence… embrace diversity… take a drive for a reason unknown… find what you see… treasure what you don’t see… share what you felt... listen... exit the box ask why… what if.

Mulholland drive, Ca USA 2001

be aware of NIGHTLY... go out, see the world, the sceniC.. the overLOOK... meet your neighboor

asK whY “no stopping” ... why between 9 and 6...

Street marking from Beverly Hills CA 2004

Original city worker marking on Garfield Boulevard in Alhambra CA 2003

Ur was inhabited in the earliest stage of village settlement in southern Mesopotamia, the Ubaid period. However, it later appears to have been abandoned for a time. Scholars believe that, as the climate changed from relatively damp to drought in the early 3rd millennium BC, the small farming villages of the Ubaid culture consolidated into larger settlements, arising from the need for large-scale, centralized irrigation works to survive the dry spells. Ur became one such center, and by around 2600 BC, in the Sumerian Early Dynastic Period III, the city was again thriving. Ur by this time was considered sacred to the god called Nanna (Sumerian) or Sin (Akkadian). Ur was considered the first city of the world. Bis means SECOND. Rome called it self the second city UR-BIS, giving it self the proclamation of �city of the world� URBIS ET ORBIS. This is a simbol I designed for my current t-shirt line and it was inspired by my father Francesco Ventura who told me this story about twenty times. Grazie papa.

Riposati... mangia qualcosa di sano, vai dietro l’angolo, guarda su e respira un po di cielo.

Take a break... eat something sane, then go around a corner and look up to smell the sky.

Hopscotch on the Queen Mary, Long Beach Ca USA 2004

THE RUNE: Acrylic on foam core 2003

Pavement in New York city NY USA 2005

Next time you use a sidewalk you may notice the spray-painted markings, leaping arrows, crosses, names, and acronyms that make up a graffiti language that’s actually on the street. These markings, I call Street Runes are designed to inform us that jackhammers and backhoes are coming. Days before any urban dig starts, a city worker marks up the designated area, using white spray paint to alerts the local underground notification service center. The center puts out a call to the telephone company, electric companies, water-works and cable outfits that subscribe to the service. In return they dispatch workers with spray cans to warn the excavation crew of buried infrastructure. If you know the damn lingo, you can visualize the dense architecture that sprawls beneath your city. Red denotes power lines yellow flags oil and gas blue is for fresh water green indicates sewage purple highlights reclaimed water and orange tags communications or cable TV lines Some acronyms, like MCI or SBC, are obvious; others aren’t. IP, means “iron pipe” USA stands for “underground service alert.”

Indianapolis, USA

Goslar, Germany

South Pasadena, USA

A red Porsche 911 (993) Carrera convertible flying over a parking lot of a fast food restaurant in Los Angeles CA, USA 2007

(this page + opposite page) Graffiti in Freiberg, Germany 2007

Toy ride at a small park in Freiberg, Germany 2007

On my first trip to Germany I stayed at a cozy bed and breakfast in Freiberg two blocks away from the town square. One day we set out to take pictures and when I got back to Los Angeles I used the photos to create this piece. Using a quill and black ink directly on a cardboard box I had coated with house paint.

A witch leads a group of cute babushkas gather ed around Mikhail Gorbachev triplettes under the scrutiny of a large Boris Jelzin at a fleamarket outside Berlin, Germany 2007

Captive in communist east Germany a friend of mine was born and lived in this building in Freiberg. I took this photo (if you can still call it a photo!) in 2007 when I went to visit my buddy’s his home town.

(this page + opposite page) Berlin, Germany 2007

Telephone booth, Goslar, Germany 2007

Just drive don’t have to know where you’re going respect and drive see the world for no absolute reasons but to SEE to find who you are and see what’s outside pay attention PAY ATTENTION see what’s outside eXit the BOX ask WHY.. what iF.

Don’t forget to take a drive. Long Beach CA USA 2008 Guidando, Long Beach CA USA nel 2008. Non dimenticarti di farti un giro.

Money can, Piazza Navona Rome, Italy 2007 Barattolo per soldi, Piazza Navona Roma 2007

In my Ford Explorer number 3 on the corner of Van Nuys and Ventura CA USA 2004 Al volante della mia Ford Explorer numero 3 all’angolo con Van Nuys e Ventura boulevard a Los Angeles CA USA 2004

Neon lights illuminate a highway tunnel outside Rome, Italy 2006. Le luci illuminano un tunnel sul raccordo anulare intorno a Roma nel 2006.

Urban Marking by city workers on Garfield Blvd in Alhambra CA USA 2004.

Sidewalk curb marking, Colorado Blvd Pasadena CA USA 2002

These markings on the following page are taken from city workers markings in Pasadena CA USA in 2002, I then transfered this image on a shirt using an iron and then photographed the result to produce this final piece. Actually all that is white on the image was caused by the glue in the back of the paper, not allowing the iron to heat up the image correctly and puling the paper prematurely caused the effect I wanted.

Every city has a lot to offer, it’s all there, all around us. You have to take the time to look, to discover and to always give back. Inspire others, the children and people that have no hope, the ones that see no future in their tomorrow. Inspire those who are rude, angry and mean. Inspire all; the good, the bad and the ugly. Do it at your own pace, do it by using your craft even when it seems hopeless to you. And finally do it to help you to find truth and inspiration and make yourself a better you so that when you reach your destination you can look back and maybe even if for an instance, you may understand the journey, and at that moment you will know that there was a reason. Remember that this is your earth, but never forget that you won’t get to keep it for too long. Nothing is your but what you leave behind. Ogni città ha tanto da offrire, è tutto lì, tutto intorno a noi. Devi cercare di trovare il tempo per osservare, per scoprire e devi sempre dare qualcosa in cambio. Sii di ispirazione agli altri, ai bambini e alla gente senza speranza, a quelli che non vedono nessun futuro nel loro domani. Sii di ispirazione ai villani, agli arrabbiati e ai meschini. Sii di ispirazione per tutti; il buono, il brutto e il cattivo. Fallo seguendo il tuo ritmo, fallo utilizzando la tua abilità, persino quando ti sembra impossibile. Fallo, infine, per aiutare te stesso a trovare la verità e l’ispirazione per migliorarti, in modo che una volta raggiunta la tua destinazione potrai guardarti indietro e forse, anche se solo per un istante, potrai comprendere il tuo viaggio, e proprio in quel momento ti renderai conto del perchè. Ricorda che è la tua terra, ma non dimenticare mai che non l’avrai per sempre. Niente è tuo, solo quello che ti lasci dietro. Valerio Ventura 11/19/2009


A collection of writing, photography and graphics created by Italian artist Valerio Ventura. Ventura's urban art can be seen in his upcoming...

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