An Italian artist and trendsetter, Maurizio Cattelan calles himself an ‘art worker’ rather than an artist. He is renowned for his satirical sculptures. He voices the follies of society through his artwork – sets them up for ridicule – which is a concept that is much appreciated by the observer. He has no formal training, but his work is appreciated by both professionals and general audience. Many have labeled him the jester of the art community, though his jokes are very much appreciated all around.
Early Life And Works Of Maurizio Cattelan
Maurizio Cattelan started off by designing wooden furniture in the 80’s. it is through there he came to know some famous Italian designers like Ettore Sottsass – the pioneer of the Memphis movement. He then promoted himself by sending a self-made portfolio of his work to several galleries, which opened up several avenues for his career.
Basic Concepts Behind His Artworks
The most accurate description of Maurizio Cattelan’s art concept would be ‘dark humor.’ His works are a creative interpretations of contemporary social gestures and emotional gestures.
He makes fun of a number of societal norms in a humorous but macabre way. His art is a literal critical spotlight that shines on the goings-on of the contemporary world. He makes incredible use of figurative puns into his art. He is also known to blur the line between reality and myth, as demonstrated by his most famous work to date, La Nona Ora.
Famous Works And Recognition
Maurizio Cattelan’s work is too extensive to be compiled in a short list, but is still extremely recognized. Cattelan’s most famous work to date is La Nona Ora, which features Pope John Paul ll struck down by a meteorite. Another one of his great contributions include L.O.V.E; a 15-feet tall marble hand sculpture with a standing middle-finger.
Cattelan’s work has been publish-centric between 2005-2010. Cattelan collaborated with Dominique Gonalez-Foerester and Paola Manfrin during 1996-2007 to publish 15 issues of Permanent Food. This was a magazine that was compiled of pages that were torn from other magazines. He also teamed up with Pierpaolo Ferrari in 2009 to come up with an editorial for W Magazine.
Cattelan was a finalist for the Guggenheim’s Hugo Boss Prize in 2000, and he received an honorary degree in Sociology from the University of Trento, Italy, in 2004. He was also awarded the Arnold Bode prize from the Kunstverein Kassel, Germany, that same year. His work is world renowned and truly appreciated.
Post Millennium Manifesto
Cattelan’s work has been much appreciated over the last decade, so much so that solo exhibitions of his work have been frequently organized. These include the exhibition by MOMA in New York in 1998 followed by a number of exhibitions in Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris in 2000 and quite a few more spread evenly throughout the decade. The most recent one was held in the Guggenheim Museum in New York back in 2008.
In 2012, Italian art-world jester, Maurizio Cattelan and two editors turned curators, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick founded The Wrong Gallery in New York; they jokingly referred to the sliver of a gallery as “the back door to contemporary art” – one that’s “always locked”. It was entirely non-commercial, literally only accessible to window shoppers. The name came about because, as Cattelan explains: “We loved the idea of people saying: ‘It’s a great show, but it’s in the wrong gallery.’ “
Although he has long since declared himself retired (circa 2011), Maurizio Cattelan now works and lives in both New York and Milan.