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New in the Farnesina Collection #3
Portal of the Italian language

New in the Farnesina Collection #3

Categories: Culture and creativity -Visual Arts

Altan, DEM and Franco Costalonga in the contemporary art collection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Novità in Collezione Farnesina 3 -DEM - Ovoo
Novità in Collezione Farnesina 3 -DEM – Ovoo

New arrivals in the Farnesina Collection. Works by Altan, DEM and Franco Costalonga are joining the contemporary art gallery housed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

In the corridor dedicated to graphic design, illustration and street art, ‘Il censimento degli Italiani’ (The Italian Census) by Altan and two drawings by DEM, ‘Ovoo’ and ‘Ovoo2’, can be found.

‘Il censimento degli Italiani’ is a work created for the Venerdì di Repubblica, the weekly supplement of the daily paper La Repubblica, in 1991. In this work Altan, with his characteristic style made up of soft shapes and bright colours, satirizes certain aspects of contemporary society. Altan, the author of numerous comic novels, is the creator of iconic characters such as Kika, Kamilo Kromo and the Pimpa. As a satirical cartoonist, he portrays ordinary people, offering a caustic vision of modern-day Italy

In the two drawings, ‘Ovoo’ and ‘Ovoo2’ (2013), we can recognise the roots of the iconographic repertoire of the street artist DEM (born Marco Barbieri, in Codogno, 1978), inhabited by strange creatures, dreamlike characters and ancestral masks. The illustrations recall, in particular, certain site-specific works in which DEM, using vegetation and other found materials, constructs installations that are halfway between totems and temporary shelters. These are eco-installations which, in addition to inspiring reflection on the relationship between human beings and the environment, show us the way towards a sustainable syncretism and a spiritual reconciliation with the purifying energy of nature.

In the section dedicated to optical and programmed art in the Corridoio del Cerimoniale, there is ‘Oggetto quadro gradienti di luminosità’ (Square Object with Gradients of Brightness) by Franco Costalonga. The work is part of the author’s refined experiments of the 1970s, in which a single element – a cylinder sectioned at 45 degrees, containing colour – is combined in regular modules. The latter give rise to polychrome geometric representations, the intensity of which changes according to the observer’s point of view.

For more information on the Farnesina Collection, visit

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