10 books about art to read absolutely

10 books about art to read absolutely

Elisa Scotti · 2 months ago · Art

We are in the second week of quarantine, the days are still long and we must find a way to use our time constructively. So instead of watching TV shows all day, here’s a good idea.

We want to provide you with tools to interpret beauty. History and art criticism are constantly evolving subjects, always in step with the changes in society. If you are fascinated by them, if you are curious and want to deepen your knowledge, this is the list for you.

Lo potevo fare anch’io. Perché l’arte contemporanea è davvero arte – Francesco Bonami (Mondadori 2009)

Everybody, at least once in their life, in front of a work of contemporary art we thought: “I could do that too!”. Yet critics assure us that they are masterpieces, while collectors spend dizzying amounts of money on paintings that look like dirty canvases and sculptures that look like piles of scrap. Francesco Bonami challenges us to “taste” the works without prejudice. And if it is true that in the last century art has evolved to the point of being almost unrecognizable, Bonami makes us understand once and for all why it is not true that we can do the same.

Breve ma veridica storia della pittura Italiana – Roberto Longhi (1914)

Volume remained unsurpassed even today for anyone approaching the subject. It treats Italian painting from Giotto to the Renaissance masters in an unpredictable and accurate way. The peculiarity of the volume lies in the fact that it compares the modes of criticism of the present with those of the past.

Il mistero delle cose – Massimo Recalcati (Feltrinelli 2016)

In this manual, the art is interpreted using the schemes of psychoanalysis. The author reconstructs the artistic genesis of some of the most important creators of Italian contemporary art. Submitting their works to a careful psychological analysis able to bring out the passions and disturbances that orbit behind the process of artistic creation. By virtue of this process, psychology takes on the characteristics of a cognitive tool to investigate art and its creation.

La storia dell’arte – Ernest H Gombrich (1950)

This is by far the most popular text on artistic themes. For over half a century it has been an unparalleled introduction to the subject. The work deals in a complete way, the existential parable of the relationship between human beings and art. Starting from the genesis of the artistic path, represented by the first testimonies of rock painting, it deals with the last upheavals, brought in the practical and theoretical field by contemporary experimental art.

Ricordi di un collezionista – Giuseppe Panza (2006)

Giuseppe Panza. The greatest Italian art collector. The man who first brought to our country the artists of pop art, minimalism, environmental and conceptual art. Panza’s great merit was precisely that he was the first to bring them to the great European, as well as national, attention. The text is fundamental to better understand the history of American art in the second half of the 20th century more than any other manual.

Recollections of a Picture Dealer – Vollard

It contains the memories, written in the first person, of Ambroise Vollard, the legendary merchant of the Impressionists and Picasso. Vollard, a clever businessman, brings us back to the fascinating atmosphere of the Paris of the Belle Époque, telling us a series of curious anecdotes about the most famous artists and collectors of that period. He visits Manet’s widow, and returns home with a whole collection of drawings by the master; he makes friends with Renoir, Degas and above all Pissarro. He raked Cézanne’s studio, then those of Vlaminck, Derain and Picasso; he took a courageous position in the avant-garde market by exhibiting Van Gogh and Gauguin.

Marcel Duchamp, La vita a credito – Bernard Marcadé (2007)

Marcel Duchamp has always stood out in the landscape of contemporary art. From Futurism to Cubism, from Dadaism to Surrealism, the artist has left a consistent trace in each of these artistic currents. He can give us a unique overview from the artist’s point of view, who was able to skilfully weave his art into the great aesthetic adventures of the twentieth century without ever being reduced to any of them. If Picasso insists on supporting the figure of the demiurge artist, Duchamp, thanks to the invention of the ready-made, instead embodies the model of the contemporary artist and has been recognized since the sixties as an indisputable source of inspiration by the younger generations of artists.

Arte Greca. Dal X al I secolo a.C. – Giorgio Bejor

It is one of the few texts that can provide us with an overall image of Greek art, stretching it over the various periods in which it was articulated. From Ancient works to Corinthian ones. Paying particular attention to the types of ceramics and construction techniques, whether they are modest living models for daily use or the majestic religious buildings.

Questione di sguardi. Sette inviti al vedere fra storia dell’arte e quotidianità – Johan Bergen (1972)

This book investigates a fundamental issue in the field of art and its use by the public. We are less and less able to see. We accept without breath the promises of advertising and we attribute to the paintings of the past a value that perhaps they do not possess. In a galaxy of works of art that can be reproduced, technically, infinitely, what remains are the images themselves: the act of seeing determines our place in the world around us. Knowing how to explain the phenomenon is always slightly insufficient compared to what we see.

Storia della bellezza – Umberto Eco (2004)

Beauty has never been an absolute value, but it has always been linked to the historical period: it was harmonic or Dionysian, it was associated with the monstrosity in the Middle Ages and the harmony of the celestial spheres in the Renaissance; it took the form of “I don’t know what” in the Romantic period and then became artifice, joke, quotation throughout the twentieth century“.
Based on this assumption, Umberto Eco has created a book that goes beyond the novel but cannot even be considered as a manual, but rather as a true path through the history of art and culture from an iconographic and literary-philosophical point of view.

10 books about art to read absolutely
10 books about art to read absolutely
10 books about art to read absolutely
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Brooks Reynolds, faces between lights and shadows

Brooks Reynolds, faces between lights and shadows

Giulia Guido · 20 hours ago · Photography

It is difficult to define Brooks Reynolds with one word. He is a director, but also an author and photographer. Born in Burlington, Canada, Brooks Reynolds first approached photography during his high school years, then over time he explored all the possibilities this art had to offer. Today Brooks spends most of his time behind the lens, sometimes taking beautiful photographs, sometimes shooting short films and commercials. 

In this case we want to focus on a small aspect of his work, which we recommend you to discover on his website, the portraits. Scrolling through his portfolio, or his Instagram profile, among the frames of his shorts and projects for clients, you may come across faces, glances that stand out in the darkness of streets and rooms. 

Many times they are strangers, met by chance, but those of Brooks Reynolds do not only show banal faces, they tell stories, we can perceive people’s moods, we can almost hear their thoughts. 

The main feature of all his shots is a cinematic vision on the stage, developed thanks to his short films and that goes perfectly with an exasperated use of light, which creates amplified areas of light and shadow. 

Below is a selection of his shots, but to find out more about Brooks Reynolds’ work go to his website

Brooks Reynolds, faces between lights and shadows
Brooks Reynolds, faces between lights and shadows
Brooks Reynolds, faces between lights and shadows
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The Guestbook – Valeria Dellisanti

The Guestbook – Valeria Dellisanti

Giulia Guido · 3 days ago · Photography

The protagonist of this The Guestbook is Valeria Dellisanti, a young photographer who, with delicacy and mastery, manages to capture small moments of intimacy. Among her projects stands out certainly “In The Rooms“, a series of shots that capture young girls inside their bedrooms, a safe place where growing up and questioning, but what captures our attention is her project “Distancing Diary” born during the quarantine, a sort of personal diary made up of small thoughts and beautiful photographs.

Curious by her style and her works, we asked Valeria a few questions and she told us how her passion was born, her projects, and much more.

Tell us how you approached the photograph. Is there a particular moment that you remember?

I would like to take advantage of this question that I often find in interviews and that is often asked to me, to make a reflection.
So I turn and rephrase the question to you and the readers of Collater.al: Who has not approached photography in the social and cultural context in which we live?
It is almost impossible in my opinion not to confront this medium in 2020. When photography became part of people’s habits, the idea of being able to take pieces of reality and of the world to be able to preserve, archive and review them whenever you want has given rise to a new mass phenomenon that has been accentuated by new technologies and social media. 
Today we all produce images spontaneously, as a natural form of relationship with others and with the world.  In this regard, I like to recall the words of Susan Sontag who wrote: “collecting photographs is collecting the world”.

As far as my personal experience is concerned, since I had the first mobile phone in my hand I started taking pictures, as I think everyone does. Slowly, thanks to my studies, to the stimuli of people in my life, so external and internal influences, I started to do it more and more consciously.  
I don’t remember a particular moment, it was more a path. 
Photography helps me to ask myself questions, to better understand who I am and who I want to be. It helps me to reflect and focus my gaze on what is happening and surrounds me, so for me it is an instrument of self-analysis.

One of your latest works is “In The Rooms“, a series of shots of girls in their bedrooms. Tell us how this idea came about and what aspects you wanted to bring out in the shots. 

I’m very attached to this photo series and I’m a bit tender to look at it today. 
Actually it’s a feeling that I feel a little bit for all my past works.
I started this project spontaneously, almost unconsciously. 
After graduating from art high school, in 2015 I moved to Bologna to continue my studies. This change led me to relate not only to a new city but also with a totally different and autonomous lifestyle. As soon as you change the city, the first step is to find an apartment or a room to live in. So in this context your room, especially if you live in a shared house, becomes an intimate space “a glass bell”.
Beware, bell jar not understood in the meaning of Sylvia Plath “I couldn’t hear anything- sitting on the deck of a ship or in a café in Paris or Bangkok- I would be under the same bell jar, suffocating in my own sour air”. But as a space in which to feel safe and comfortable, to discover and build your own identity.

I was very fascinated by the process of personalisation of the rooms, and above all to take pictures and relate to a subject in such an intimate environment in which every day one reworks one’s identity.
Thanks to this project I found myself photographing friends, but also girls I didn’t know at all. 
The series “In the Rooms” was important for me because it helped me to develop a photographic language and personality, it also allowed me to put myself on the line, to face my fears, my shyness and to confront the lives of other girls my age. 

Your latest project, however, is called “Distancing Diary” and was born during and because of quarantine. What it was like to tell yourself first-hand. 

It wasn’t easy to do it, especially in this context. 
Photography, or creating in general, is therapeutic: the are is an instrument of self-analysis.
In this situation, creating has helped me to confront myself, it has kept me busy and productive, it has helped me to confront myself with others. 
The creation of the diary has made me become aware of how changes coming from the outside pour into us.
After the publication of the project, some people contacted me and told me that they saw each other again in the pages of my diary and that in a way they felt less lonely. 
I think that sharing this time in my life has helped me and others to exorcise negative feelings.
On a structural level, for the first time, I have added a textual and figurative narrative path to the images, I really enjoyed experimenting in this sense.

From a creative and working point of view, how did you experience this lockdown period? 

I lived this period in alternating phases. Weeks in which I was anxious and confused, others in which I felt productive and positive. It was, and still is, a strange time. 
As a photographer friend of mine told me when we met after lockdown… 
“It felt like a bad dream.” What’s worrying is that, metaphorically, we haven’t come out of it yet and we haven’t recovered from this nightmare. 
Hopefully I’ll be back soon to shoot and recover from the canceled shots.

What advice, both technical and practical, would you give to a young person who wants to approach photography for the first time?

I’m not good at giving hahaha advice.
But I would say… read, study and understand the work of other photographers and always question themselves.

The Guestbook – Valeria Dellisanti
The Guestbook – Valeria Dellisanti
The Guestbook – Valeria Dellisanti
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InstHunt – The 10 best photos on Instagram this week

InstHunt – The 10 best photos on Instagram this week

Giulia Guido · 6 days ago · Photography

Every day, on our Instagram profile, we ask you to share with us your most beautiful pictures and photographs. 
For this InstHunt collection of this week we have selected your 10 best proposals: @davidecannavo, @carla_sutera_sardo, @eyepyre, @m_streetphoto, @kei_scampa, @_hartemis, @matteotriola, @userid019, @wonmin.9, @erikaconlaci.

Tag @collateral.photo to be selected and published on next InstHunt.

View this post on Instagram

Broken nature Model: @mai_stanca

A post shared by Kei Scampa (@kei_scampa) on

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 최원민 WonMin Choi (@wonmin.9) on

InstHunt – The 10 best photos on Instagram this week
InstHunt – The 10 best photos on Instagram this week
InstHunt – The 10 best photos on Instagram this week
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London in lockdown, photos of Jan Enkelmann

London in lockdown, photos of Jan Enkelmann

Emanuele D'Angelo · 6 days ago · Photography

When we think of London, we immediately think of a city with chaotic rhythms, frenetic and tireless, like any self-respecting modern capital. Because of the pandemic, however, everything came to a sudden halt almost suddenly.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, following in the footsteps of his illustrious colleagues all over the world, has frozen the entire city until at least June, waiting for the contagion curve to slow down.

The English photographer Jan Enkelmann decided to document the deafening silence of his city, never seen before.
So on 23 March, the night the lockdown was announced, the photographer climbed on his bike to admire deserted London, never seen like this in 20 years of his life. A few weeks later, he took his camera with him and decided to capture the whole thing.

Like many others I felt compelled to document the lack of crowds in usually crowded locations. But looking at the set of images I have made over the last weeks, I feel this project has taken on a life of its own. Maybe these photos are less about the lack of human presence and rather about the stillness of a city being allowed a breather to reveal a beauty that often goes unnoticed.

London in lockdown, photos of Jan Enkelmann
London in lockdown, photos of Jan Enkelmann
London in lockdown, photos of Jan Enkelmann
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