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French TV host Nikos Aliagas exhibits his 'Venetian Views' in the Serenissima

Gondolier in Venice
Gondolier in Venice Copyright All rights reserved - Nikos Aliagas
Copyright All rights reserved - Nikos Aliagas
By Frédéric Ponsard
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The Franco-Greek TV presenter made several trips to Venice to immerse himself in the cultures of the San Polo district, often invisible to tourists.

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On the banks of the Grand Canal in Venice, the Vendramin Grimani Palace, recently restored by the Foundation of the Golden Tree (Fondazione dell' Albero d'Oro), welcomes artists from all over the world who are inspired by Italy's floating city.

Since 4 February, the walls of the Palace have been decorated with photos of Nikos Aliagas.

These are 'Venetian Views', which the Franco-Greek journalist managed to find far from the clichés of the Serenissima.

The soul of Venice comes from the people who live in Venice, those who do not seek fame or to be photographed by tourists: the craftsman, the barber, the grocer, the woodworker, the restorer.

These are the people who have adopted me, in a kind of photographic dialogue that is sometimes silent. It's a city that also observes you, and lets you get lost...
Nikos Aliagas
Journalist, host, photographer

Aliagas travelled several times to Venice, specifically to the San Polo district and mingled with the local population, often invisible to tourists.

His lens captured the lives of everyday people at Campo San Polo, the Sestiere district that surrounds it, these pictures help to tell the local's stories.

With black and white images: the artist explored contrasts, backlighting and movements in frames where line and curve blend together, either on a subject or on a street corner.

Some of the inhabitants of the Sestiere district he photographed were present at the opening, to see the project for themselves.

This has been a role reversal for the star TV presenter who actually relishes being behind the scenes, a contrast to his main job which has positioned him in front of the camera for the past 30 years. But this has never prevented him from "observing the world since his beginnings".

I am a witness, as Sabine Weiss, a great photographer, would say. It is a modest testimony of a son of Greek immigrants born in France, in love with Europe and trying to build bridges to tell small stories.
Nikos Aliagas
Journalist, host, photographer

"If one day someone remembers one person saying, 'Well, that was my grandfather and look how he was dressed in 2022'... That will mean that I have achieved something..." he added.

The 150 photos in the 'Venetian Views' exhibition can be seen at the Palazzo Vendramin Grimani in Venice until 2 April 2023.

Nikos Aliagas biography

Aliagas' other works are exhibited under the theme 'L'épreuve du temps' or 'The Test of Time' in France's La Grande Arche, La Conciergerie and the DIDAM art centre in Bayonne to name but a few venues. 

With a benevolent gaze, he reveals a vision of the world filled with humanity, through the ageing of hands and faces as well as landscapes.

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