Maurizio Cattelan



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Maurizio Cattelan Artist

Maurizio Cattelan pittore

Maurizio Cattelan is an Italian artist known for his artistic provocations which have made him the best known and most controversial of contemporary Italian artists. He was born in Padua in 1960 to a family that has no ties to the world of art. From a young age he was interested in radio engineering, spending most of his time dismantling old objects such as radios and televisions and acquiring skills in cutting and assembling various types of materials. This interest led him to enroll at the Industrial Technical Institute.
After graduating, Maurizio Cattelan found himself doing various types of jobs, from gardener to waiter, without ever abandoning his first passion, namely the creation of compositions. Photos of these works are sent to art galleries around the world. When the Galleria Neon in Bologna agrees to exhibit one of his works, Maurizio Cattelan's life changes completely.
The artist's vision can only be understood if one takes into account his training which is essentially self-taught. Although common opinion is convinced that to become a successful artist it is mandatory to follow a training course at prestigious schools and academies, Maurizio Cattelan has never shared this thought, declaring several times, during some interviews, how it is much more decisive From his point of view, it is more about developing the talents of listening and discussion than enrolling and attending high-cost schools.
Maurizio Cattelan's artistic career began during the early nineties with one of his first works, Stadium, which was exhibited at the Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Bologna. Stadium was a table football table where real players were placed at the ends. The white people were the reserves of the Cesena football team, the black people, however, the Senegalese workers who worked in Veneto.
Already from his debut, therefore, Maurizio Cattelan managed to arouse great amazement, attracting towards himself both feelings of admiration and disdain. The artist's works are a perfect union between sculpture and performance. The Paduan artist manages to make fun of the art world and its mechanisms. In fact, in addition to being an esteemed and world-famous artist, Cattelan is also a great communicator capable of taking advantage of both negative publicity and the critics who point to and accuse him.
In 2010 he created a project in collaboration with the photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari, giving life to the magazine called Toiletpaper.
After taking a 5-year break between 2012 and 2017, he resumes his career and divides his time between Milan and New York. He is considered one of the highest paid living artists. His works, in fact, obtained a total value of approximately 86 million dollars.
Among his most representative works we remember Cattelan's horse. This work, although known to the general public as Cattelan's Horse, is actually titled Novecento. The reference to director Bertolucci's film is clear and it is a work created in 1997 which essentially consists of a taxidermy horse tied to the ceiling using a particular leather harness. The posture and neck of the animal conveys to the viewer a sense of frustration and lack of security. According to what the artist stated about this work, the themes covered are very common in his works. This is not, therefore, an isolated case.
The Ninth Hour from 1999 is a sculpture that represents one of the most beloved popes in history, John Paul II, who appears stretched out and hit by a meteorite. Made up of various types of materials, this work refers to the financial and sexual scandals that the Church was going through in that period.
Comedian is among the works that have caused the greatest stir and consists of the famous banana glued to a wall with a piece of gray adhesive tape. The work was exhibited at the Perrotin gallery at Art Basel Miami Beach. The idea was born during his travels. In fact, Maurizio Cattelan was designing a sculpture that had the shape of a banana. To find the right inspiration, he hung a banana, which he always carried with him, in the various hotel rooms where he stayed. After making prototypes in different materials, the artist returned to the original idea: a real banana. The purpose of this work, which explicitly refers to pop art, is to induce people to reflect on the value of the work of art and the value given to objects. Furthermore, Comedian was also the protagonist of a further event that involved her. In fact, an American contemporary art artist, David Datuna, removed the banana from the stand and, in front of many people present, ate the fruit, declaring that he considered Cattelan's work very tasty.
Cattelan's middle finger or LOVE acronym which stands for freedom, hate, revenge, eternity. It is one of the artist's most impressive creations. LOVE, in fact, is more than ten meters high and was built using tons of Carrara marble. The work was placed in 2010 in the famous Piazza Affari in Milan which hosts the Stock Exchange. It depicts a hand showing the fascist salute, but the erosion of time has left only the middle finger visible. The place of exhibition has a very specific meaning. In fact, the Milan Stock Exchange is one of the symbols of fascist architecture.

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