RIOT ART GALLERY: A curated selection of art for the next generation collector

PRESENT DREAMS OF THE PAST: An interview with Domenico C.V. Talarico

InterviewsErika BelavyComment

Thank you all for a killer first week with the super talented photography trio GORSAD, one of the most satisfying discoveries in the photography field today.

This week we bring you the dreamy yet somewhat macabre art of Domenico C.V. Talarico, a Berlin-based artist who brings the characters of vintage photography back to life through his work. We had a chat with Doménico to learn more.... Safe travels! xx

What is your main goal with your art?

My main goal probably is to get known for what I'm doing (haha) but also I want to show people that paintings can be something beautiful to look at, in addition to their comprehensive content.

How do you achieve that goal?

I keep doing what I'm interested in.

Your work is based on vintage photographs, how do you choose these images? How do they inspire you?

Mostly I find these photographs at the flea market or somewhere online. They can be from different decades. For example, some of my references are from the Belle Epoque, when people only allowed pictures of themselves to be taken in special stages in their lifetime, because it was very expensive at the time. I like the way they are looking into the camera... back then it was an almost magical machine...
But I'm also interested in pictures of the decades after - when people started being able to afford a camera and took pictures of themselves in their everyday lives. To study what they were doing is very inspiring.
No one wants to be left in a cardboard box in a flea market after passing away. So I create a new identity for these forgotten people in a completely changed world, reviving them forever. The ones I take home are the ones that do something for me when I stare at them.

Where do you think this interest in the antique has come from?

I was always interested in antique things: music, furniture, movies, the way to dress up... The way people back then saw a necessity for beauty in their lives. Less isn't more. More is more! More effort, even in abstraction or reduction, is an enrichment for everyone. My references remind me of what I want to show others.

What superpower would you have and why?

It would be way too obvious if I chose the ability to travel trough time (haha), wouldn't it?


Doménico C.V. Talarico is a German artist with an Italian background, who lives and works in Berlin. Basing his paintings on characters portrayed in original vintage-photography, Doménico explores the concept of one's "own identity". Forgotten characters engage in new stories as actors from the past – reminding the viewers of their own remains. Doménico’s paintings are liquid, with blurred attributes and held in a unique colour spectrum. They invite the viewer to have a closer look, to get lost in the dreamy yet macabre atmospheres he creates. Antique aesthetics meets illustrative painting and the artist thus mediates between the worlds.