As he examines 2000 years of history, creating unusual juxtapositions between Classical and contemporary art, archaeology and state-of-the-art chronicles, Bonami looks at art in a relevant, anti-conformist way, creating an ironic yet cultured divertissement.
“People who say that, since art is only concerned with the market, it no longer has any impact on society, should check their facts: we should be asking ourselves if it is not society, which is only superficially involved with the world, that no longer has any impact on art”. A tongue-in-cheek writer, never an art critic – as he is keen to emphasize – but rather a careful observer of the contemporary world a with a profound knowledge of its forms of artistic expression, Francesco Bonami presents a new, personal approach to art history, art itself and the things that have become the icons of our collective imagination. 260 images speak to each other, ranging from Ancient Egypt to images from modern chronicles. Through comparisons and counter-positions, Bonami re-interprets the past with the eye of a contemporary spectator. The effect of the vast dimensions of the Sphinx at Giza is compared to the abnormal dimensions of the work of contemporary artist Ron Mueck; Masaccio’s Expulsion from Paradise is unexpectedly compared to the aggressive gesture of a footballer which led to his fall from the Olympus of sports celebrities. The writer examines art and our perception of the images, which have been filtered and put into their historical context by time in this way, by comparing works that are very distant from each other, in terms of date and type. The meaning behind the surprising juxtapositions of artworks is revealed by short explanations on the part of the author. These create a very personal route and a history of art “based not on facts but on sensations, not on dates but on the effect that certain images have had inside my head: references, ideas, other works of art”.