Collezione Ettore Molinario aims to explore through photography the aesthetic representations of five states and processes involved in the symbolic construction of personal and sexual identity.
The first acquisitions date back to the beginning of the nineties, as a means to experience the pleasure of personal possession. Many themes, which now strongly characterize the collection, were already present at this very initial stage. The fruition of these artworks provoked, over time, an introspective inquiry into the role taken up by each piece of the collection, as well as the relationships between the different works and, more profoundly, the relationship between each work and the collector. The artworks in the collection are thus true fragments of the Self, a re-composition of a restless and fluid identity.
This journey led to an increasing degree of self-awareness that turned the owner into a collector, and the artworks into a proper collection. This introspective inquiry within the Self evolved into a psychoanalytical reading of the collection, exploring themes related to identity issues and the return of the repressed whilst interacting with the horizon of philosophical aesthetics. Through the lens of this unique and original perspective, free from the standard canons of photography and art history, the linear reading of the evolution of time and history gives way to a temporal anachronism1 and the survival of antiquity2.
Interweaving and temporal reversal: only retrospectively can this project attain its full meaning and reconstruction, although always appearing orderly arranged, as if pre-determined. The collection functions as an open form which re-elaborate itself as it continues to evolve, inextricably linking content and forms. A work in progress in which all dimensions of thought are kept together, even when they seem to be in apparent contradiction; it is a never-ending process of reflection and imagination, quest and discovery.
A journey of combinations, joints, jumps and overlaps, no longer syntactically harmonious, “mounted” through associations and automatisms. The collector, as a montage artist, builds heterogeneities stemming from connections (or correspondences, in Baudelaire’s words), elective affinities (as Goethe and Benjamin would put it), lacerations (according to Bataille), or attractions (in Eisenstein's sense of the word), exposing truth through disorganising rather than explaining things3.

1 See Georges Didi Huberman.
2 See Aby Warburg- Nachleben.
3 See Elio Grazioli.


Ettore Molinario is an Economist and an Art Historian. After having worked for two decades as a top executive for multinational companies in the finance and insurance industry, he decided to begin a new personal and professional journey in the arts. He spent several years studying and researching, which culminated in a second University degree in History of Art and a Grand Tour visiting the most relevant museums in the world, from 2010 to 2014. Author of essays on art collecting, he has given lectures on conference papers regarding the associations between photography and psychoanalysis. He was also a visiting professor at the State University of Milan and the Cattolica University in Milan, teaching both classes and workshops on photography and the art market. As an expert on the dynamics which characterize the art market, Ettore Molinario works as a consultant for Private Banks, where he focuses on finance applied to the arts industry. He is considered as one of the most influential photography collectors in Italy.


Living the Images
Citation: E. Molinario, Living the Images, 2019.

Enigma of the Collector

Citation: E. Molinario, “L'enigma del collezionista”, in M. Mazzocut-Mis, C. Spenuso (a cura di), Fermo immagine. Arte, vita e mercato della fotografia, Mimesis, Milano 2017, pp.


Ettore Molinario Collection: Dialogues: Shin'ichi Suzuki I & Studio Harcourt, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 19/04/2023

Questione di pelle, Il Giornale dell'Arte n. 438, April 2023

Ettore Molinario Collection: Dialogues: Agata Wieczorek & André Kertész, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 31/03/2023

Ettore Molinario Collection: Dialogues: Lisetta Carmi & Walter Carone, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 24/02/2023

Ettore Molinario Collection: Dialogues: Consuelo Fould & Cindy Sherman, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 30/01/2023

Ettore Molinario, Dialogues n. 21,, 19/01/2023

Ettore Molinario Collection: Dialogues: Earl Moran & John Franklin-Adams, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 20/12/2022

Il meglio del 2022 secondo il mondo dell’arte. La selezione di Claudio Composti, Exibart, 19/12/2022

Ettore Molinario Collection: Dialogues: Albert Rudomine & Pierre Molinier, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 30/11/2022

Il collezionismo d'arte contemporanea in Italia, ILI Editore, 29/11/2022

Ettore Molinario Collection: Dialogues: Sanne Sannes & Sarah Jones, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 21/11/2022

Ettore Molinario Collection: Dialogues: Claude Cahun & Gillian Wearing, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 14/10/2022

A Fuoco, How to Spend It - Il Sole24Ore, October 2022

Ettore Molinario Collection: Dialogues: Helmut Newton & Monsieur X, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 03/08/2022

Ettore Molinario Collection: Dialogues: Paolo Ventura & Anonymous, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 14/07/2022

Ettore Molinario, Dialogues 15,, 17/06/2022

Ettore Molinario Collection: Dialogues: Jean Laurent with Lucien Gauthier, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 07/06/2022

Ettore Molinatio Collection. Dialogues: Nan Goldin with Ed Van Der Elsken, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 02/05/2022

Ettore Molinario Collection. Dialogues: Anonymous with Baron Adolph De Meyer, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 24/03/2022

Quelle muse al contrario. Non solo ispirazione per gli uomini così le donne si ripresero lo spazio, Corriere della Sera, 18/03/2022

Ettore Molinario Collection. Dialogues: Adrien Tournachon (Nadar jeune) and Erwin Olaf, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 04/03/2022

“Io, Lei, L'altra. Ritratti e autoritratti di donne artiste" exhibition, Magazzino delle Idee, Trieste, 19 March - 26 June 2022

“Anche l'inquinamento è guerra" (with an anonymous picture from CEM), Il Giornale dell'Arte, 24/02/2022

Da Uno...All'Infinito, How To Spend It - Il Sole24Ore, February 2022

Ettore Molinario Collection. Dialogues: Ugo Mulas and the Biederer Brothers, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 04/02/2022

Ettore Molinario Collection. Dialogues: Man Ray and Anonymous, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 25/01/2022

Ettore Molinario, Dialogue n° 10,, 20/01/2022

Ettore Molinario Collection. Dialogues: Anonymous and George Hoyningen-Huene, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 13/01/2022

Ettore Molinario Collection. Dialogues: Anonymous and Yasumasa Morimura, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 26/10/2021

Ettore Molinario Collection. Dialogues: Anonymous and R. Moreau, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 04/10/2021

Ettore Molinario, Dialogues 6: L'Art nou­veau de l’autodétermination,, 24/09/2021

Ettore Molinario Collection. Dialogues: Alfa Castaldi and Sergei Vasiliev, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 31/08/2021

Ettore Molinario, Dialogues 4: Le par­fait amour,, 16/07/2021

Dalla Collezione Ettore Molinario, camerettasabauda, 02/05/2021

La fotografia come messa in scena, Cinesud Fotomagazine, July 2021

Ettore Molinario Collection. Dialogue: Edward Steichen and Anonymous, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 21/07/2021

Ettore Molinario Collection. Dialogue: David LaChapelle and Zorro, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 23/06/2021

Ettore Molinario, Third Dialogue,, 18/06/2021

Coup de Coeur: Collezione Ettore Molinario, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 26/05/2021

Obiettivi aperti sulle case chiuse, Il Sole24Ore, 25/04/2021

Lacci Legacci Allacci Da Collezione, How To Spend It - Il Sole24Ore, February 2021

L'arte contemporanea al tempo del Covid, ILI Editore, 01/02/2021

A True Story, FC - Fotografia e[è] Cultura n. 3, December 2020

Falsa Realidad / Fotografía visionaria de los 70 hasta la actualidad,
DXI Magazine, 01/12/2020

GENDER IDENTITY - A Voyage Through the Ettore Molinario Collection, Contemporay LYNX Magazine, September 2020

Valorizzare l'arte contemporanea, ILI Editore, 14/07/2020

Agata Wieczorek in conversation with Ettore Molinario, Contemporary LYNX Magazine, 25/06/2020

Giochi di ruolo nella Collezione Molinario, Arte n. 562, 29/05/2020
Collezione Ettore Molinario,, 25/04/2020

Collezione Ettore Molinario: A True Story, L'Oeil de la Photographie, 24/04/2020

Colleziono, dunque sono, Dagospia, 7/03/2018

Collezionismo italiano, Il Fotografo n. 297, October 2017

Affinità Elettive: Gastel e Molinario, FPmag, 16/12/2016
Le Affinità Elettive: Giovanni Gastel & Ettore Molinario, Vogue Italia, 24/11/2016

Fotografia: il collezionismo di Ettore Molinario, Collezione da Tiffany, 14/05/2015

Viaggio Psicanalitico Attraverso la Collezione d’Arte, La Triennale di Milano, 27/11/2014

Conversazioni sul Collezionismo, Pinacoteca Agnelli, 11/06/2014

L'ex manager ha cambiato vita con il collezionismo, La Stampa, 11/06/2014

Sul collezionismo di fotografia, MIA Photo Fair, 14/05/2011