The Collectors.Chain Prize by Art Defender

The Collectors.Chain Prize by Art Defender

Art Defender’s special relationship with photography and with Arte Fiera is expressed in The Collectors.Chain Prize, an award devoted exclusively to photography, which in 2024 has reached its third edition. This year as well, the chosen work will become part of the Art Defender photography collection, confirming the company’s dedication to this medium.
Walter Guadagnini is once again the jury chairman, assisted in choosing the winning work by a committee composed exclusively of collectors.
In the first two editions of The Collectors.Chain Prize, the winners were La Sprezzatura III (2016) by Noé Sendas, presented at the fair by MC2Gallery, and The Mouse (capturing light) (2007) by Maha Mullah, exhibited by the MLZ Art Dep Gallery.

The collectors.chain was founded in February 2021 as a community linking the most authoritative personalities in collecting, linking experiences, passions, and viewpoints, sharing and stimulating relations and dialogue regarding the many characteristics of being a collector. The idea behind this network – an expression of Art Defender’s business model – is that of 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.
Over the years, Art Defender has confirmed its expertise in the conservation and management photography, utilizing state-of-the-art technologies and collaborating with top experts in the field. It has assumed the management of large photography funds, working with public institutions as well as with private foundations and collectors. 


Walter Guadagnini, curator and photography historian
Donata Pizzi, collector
Micaela Paparella, collector
Massimo Prelz Oltramonti, collector


  • Milli Gandini, La mamma è uscita (trittico #1), 1975/2024 (MLB Maria Livia Brunelli, B100)
  • Antonio Ottomanelli, Kabul Afghanistan, from the series Big Eye Kabul, 2011–2016 (Montrasio Arte, A79)
  • Jacopo Valentini, Dalla serie “Superlunare”, Moltitudine di “La Repubblica”, 2020 (Antonio Verolino, B98)

Winner: Milli Gandini

Title of work: La mamma è uscita (trittico #1), photographic print, ed. 5+1, cm 75x30, 1975/2024


Gallery: MLB Maria Livia Brunelli, B100


Motivation: The jury for the Collectors Chain by Art Defender Award chose Milli Gandini’s work from the series “La mamma è uscita” for several reasons. First of all, it unites documentary and creative photography: her works are testimonies of actions that would otherwise be lost, while at the same time revealing the inherent performativity in her method. In addition, her works – presented as a triptych, and therefore with a narrative progression – mark a fundamental stage in the art and history of the second half of the 20th century, i.e., the use of photography as a tool for a battle and for an awareness that defined the woman’s role in society, in an explicitly feminist sense. Milli Gandini created these works in 1975 for the Campagna per il Salario al lavoro domestico (Wages for Housework Campaign), uniting political and artistic action in a project with Gruppo Femminista Immagine that was presented at the Venice Biennial in 1978. These works, created almost 50 years ago, are part of our history but, at the same time, in their essentiality and immediacy, speak to us today: thus, they embody the values of the Award, which from its origin has been linked to uniting reflections on the past and on the nature of photographic equipment with an openness to the present.

Photogallery of the Award Ceremony