Sunday, December 18, 2011

ARTISTS I LIKE: MAURIZIO CATTELAN


This Winter, the Guggenheim Museum plays host to a retrospective of one of my all-time favorite artists: Maurizio Cattelan.  Maurizio never received formal art training.  In fact, he completed his formal education with high school.  He comes from working class roots in Padua.  His father was a truck driver and his mother was a cleaner.  Despite his lack of education (perhaps because of it) his work forcefully blends witty art jokes with piquant social critique while never resorting to the pedantic overreach or oblique understatement common to many contemporary artists.  You're probably familiar with some of his more famous pieces, like "La Nona Ora" (1999) an effigy of Pope John Paul II crushed by a meteor, or "Bidibidobidiboo" (1996), a sculpture of a taxidermy squirrel committing suicide.  All are on view at the Guggenheim. 

Cattelan is a bit of a personal hero of mine.  Imagine how thrilled I was to walk into the Guggenheim and see his whole body of work hanging from the ceiling.  The exhibition itself is a joke about exhibitions (and the Guggenheim's awkward spiral exhibition space).  All of Cattelan's work was hung from the ceiling.  To access information about each piece, you must consult an app with video commentary by John Waters. 

To own your own piece of Cattelania I highly recommend his reasonably priced magazine Permanent Food (I'm only missing a few issues) or his recent project Toilet Paper.   If you can't make it to NYC to visit the Guggenheim yourself, which I would highly recommend, you can also download the thorough app HERE.  It's almost as good as seeing the exhibition yourself.      

I SEE PENIS: bunny costume

1 comment:

  1. The elephant must be Dana Andrews from "I was a Klansman for the GOP."

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