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Maurizio Cattelan (1960 - )
Lifespan: 1960 -
Related: taxidermy in art - grotesque art - contemporary art - Italian art
I made a caricature of Picasso in the manner of Walt Disney: striped Tee-Shirt and sandals. An actor wearing a mask of Picasso's face and this outfit was welcoming the public at the entrance. The most incredible thing is that the MOMA accepted this project despite the fact of him, showing the drift of American museums into excessive marketing. The public, coming to see an exhibition of Jackson Pollock, understood so well my concept that they thought it was Jackson Pollock himself welcoming the public! --Statement by Maurizio Cattelan on Untitled 1998:
Related: Maurizio Cattelan Google gallery
Maurizio Cattelan is an Italian artist born in Padova, Italy, in 1960. He is currently one of the most collected contemporary artists. His work is a celebration of the comic and the grotesque and is somewhat similar to that of Paul McCarthy, Damien Hirst and other artists working in the contemporary grotesque. One of his typical works is Him image (2001), a photorealist sculpture of a miniature Hitler in prayer.
More examples of his work include:
- One of his most famous artworks is a sculpture of Pope John Paul II hit by a meteorite, titled La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour), made in 1999. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London as part of the prestigious Apocalypse show, and was sold at Christie's for $3 million.
- In 2000 he persuaded his gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin to spend a month dressed as a giant pink phallus.
- As part of the 2001 Venice Biennale, he erected a full sized HOLLYWOOD sign over the largest rubbish tip on Palermo, Sicily.
- Par Peur de l'Amour, a sculpture of an elephat in a Klu Klux Klan uniform, sold at Christie's in 2004 for $2.7 million.
Jokes and pranks are common in artJokes and pranks are common in art but what makes Maurizio Cattelan special is that his are funny. Funny peculiar and funny ha-ha. Cattelan is a knowing and sophisticated artist who teases the art world without ever falling into the naive trap of thinking he can subvert a system of which he is part. He specialises not in Dadaist aggression but in slight shifts of reality that are a bit pathetic, a bit embarrassing, a bit silly. In 1994 he persuaded his Paris dealer Emmanuel Perrotin to spend a month dressed as a giant pink phallus. Errotin Le Vrai Lapin was striking precisely because it was so ludicrous: aggressive anti-art gestures and extreme acts have long since been accommodated into commercial art dealing, but to have a dealer make a fool of himself goes some way beyond the call of duty, and of chic. --http://www.eyestorm.com/feature/ED2n_article.asp?article_id=32&artist_id=95
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