DEC 1: Maurizio Cattelan

Is nothing sacred to artist Maurizio Cattelan?


Is nothing sacred to artist Maurizio Cattelan? Since rising to prominence in the Nineties, the notorious Italian provocateur has created a lifelike model of JFK in a coffin, a sculpture of Pope John Paul II crushed beneath a meteorite, and a likeness of Hitler praying on his knees. In 1995, when he started producing such magazines as Permanent Food, a scrapbook of bits and pieces culled from other magazines, and Charley, a catalog of previously published contemporary art torn from its binding and grittily rephotographed, Cattelan took a sledgehammer to the concept of creative ownership. The name of his newest publication, Toilet Paper—available December 1 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles—is a direct reference to the disposable nature of images. “Sooner or later all magazines end up in the toilet,” Cattelan says. Funded by Greek collector Dakis Joannou’s Deste Foundation, Toilet Paper was conceived, cast, and shot with Italian photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari, with whom Cattelan first collaborated for the cover of W’s 2009 Art Issue. The surreal and original photos include a man in a nun’s habit shooting up, a face with no nose, and a close-up of a bloody hand wielding a hammer. “There is no theme but a sort of mood,” explains Cattelan. “Some of the pictures are more durable than others. But, you know, that’s the story of any magazine.”

A magazine conceived by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari. Powered by Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens.