Federico Vercellone is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Torino and the author of many books, including (with Olaf Breidbach) Thinking and Imagination: Between Science and Art. Sarah De Sanctis is a philosophy scholar and the translator of over fifteen philosophy books, including Quasi-Things: The Paradigm of Atmospheres, by Tonino Griffero and Manifesto of New Realism, by Maurizio Ferraris, both also published by SUNY Press. She has edited, with Anna Longo, Breaking the Spell: Contemporary Realism under Discussion.
The art market has been booming. Museum attendance is surging. More people than ever call themselves artists. Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description, and, for some, a kind of alternative religion.
In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Sarah Thornton investigates the drama of a Christie's auction, the workings in Takashi Murakami's studios, the elite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artforum magazine, the competition behind an important art prize, life in a notorious art-school seminar, and the wonderland of the Venice Biennale. She reveals the new dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life. A judicious and juicy account of the institutions that have the power to shape art history, based on hundreds of interviews with high-profile players, Thornton's entertaining ethnography will change the way you look at contemporary culture.
One of the most highly regarded books of its kind, On Photography first appeared in 1977 and is described by its author as "a progress of essays about the meaning and career of photographs." It begins with the famous "In Plato's Cave"essay, then offers five other prose meditations on this topic, and concludes with a fascinating and far-reaching "Brief Anthology of Quotations."