The Collectors.Chain is the first Italian award for photography assigned by a jury composed primarily of collectors. Part of Arte Fiera’s “Photography and Moving Images” section, the award derives from Art Defender’s special relationship with photography. Over the years, Art Defender has confirmed its expertise in the conservation, management and digitisation of photographic archives, working alongside major public institutions and private foundations, utilising state-of-the-art technologies and collaborating with top experts in the field.

The Collectors.Chain  was founded in February 2021 as a virtual community linking the most authoritative personalities in collecting. This network of experiences, passions, and viewpoints was created to share and stimulate relations and dialogue regarding the many characteristics of being a collector, generating a series of projects that express the idea of Art Defender’s business model: a platform that gathers collectors and professionals who are passionate about art.

Art Defender is the only company in Italy providing integrated services for art collection management. Founded in 2008 by Alvise di Canossa, it now has a network of over 12,000 m2 of maximum-security vaults located throughout the country, a team of in-house specialists, and a select network of partners providing expertise and offering a differentiated portfolio of exclusive, integrated assets dedicated to wealth management with an all-inclusive advisory service.


Walter Guadagnini - Art Critic and Curator
Chiara Massimello - Collector, Art Historian and Art Consultant
Ettore Molinario - Collector, Economist and Art Historian
Roberto Spada - Collector and Spada Partners’ Partner

Selected artists:

Winning artist: Noé Sendas

Title of winning work: Old Studio, Sprezzatura III, 2016 (discover the work)
Winning gallery: Galleria MC2Gallery

Motivation: the work of Noe Sendas (b. 1972), Belgian artist based in Berlin, fully satisfies the Award’s criteria, renewing an old photographic tradition that employs architectural elements as one of its main themes, in inflections that range from documentation to formal invention. At the same time, he plays with the ambiguities of photography, literally superimposing a second image to partially obscure the clarity of the visual message. This layering multiplies the work’s levels of reading and provides a fertile conceptual dimension.
The human body becomes a further bearer of mystery, present but partially deleted, a sign of the photographer’s physical presence as he works on the image, reclaiming it through a gesture of apparent negation. The work is simultaneously essential and complex, a perfect example of the artist’s creative method.



AWARD CEREMONY » Photogallery