Storia di artisti e di bastardi

"So, for your few years, and for mine, which are a hundred, I will try to tell you the truth; not a technical truth, which would bore you as well as any other reader, but a somewhat richer truth, the reality of modern art in the life of our time: real life, I mean, beauty and guano equally mixed as it happens in real life." It is with these words that Flavio Caroli opens History of Artists and Bastards, addressing his young niece, an aspiring art historian: almost a short program, a premise that sets the tone, intentions and pace. From here the narrative will move swiftly, tracing the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, when for a young and passionate art historian, the rigorous and free study of the old masters was not enough; one had to participate, and actively, in the contemporary art scene, that brilliant socialite society made up of artists and patrons, geniuses and scoundrels, actresses, fashion designers, Biennales and travel. From page to page, Caroli alternates between personal recollections and anecdotes, reflections on our present and small fulminating lessons in art criticism. Whether he tells us about his first meeting with Michelangelo Antonioni, handsome and distant, on the set of Deserto rosso, or Van Gogh's suffering, self-conscious depression; whether he recounts the rediscovered and then lost paintings of Guercino or his nocturnal encounters with Lucio Dalla; whether he reveals the death throes of a Pasolinian Andy Warhol or the fury of Marina Abramovic, his voice comes to us sincere and palpitating, immersed in the stories he tells with the naturalness of the great historian and popularizer. History of Artists and Bastards thus turns out to be perhaps his most personal book: an entertaining counterhistory of contemporary art, a scrapbook of memories and an unscrupulous epistolary memoir, but also a spiritual testament that contains, condensed, the artistic legacy of an entire era, because only those who were there and experienced it firsthand can preserve the fire of that experience and pass it on intact and burning to new generations.

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Publication date: 31.03.2017
Publisher: Utet

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