Artist
Maurizio Cattelan
Italian artist

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Maurizio Cattelan
Italian artist
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Birth Date

September 21, 1960

jtucker's picture

Contributor

Some folks just can’t take a joke. If you happen to one of those people, you will not like the work of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan.

Cattelan is one of those enigmatic types you just can’t quite figure out. That’s probably because it is nearly impossible to ascertain if he is telling the truth or not, or if it is Cattelan you are even talking to. The nutso artist has been known to send look alike impersonators to interviews when he does feel like basking in the spotlight. Additionally, he has been known to tell some pretty far out tales to whoever will listen. My personal favorite is when he told a collector he once cooked a cat with a priest in Milan and ate it. We can only hope this one was a lie…

These types of moves have landed Cattelan with the title of "court jester of the art world." Not a bad label to have, the art world has been known to be a bit stuffy at times, and Cattelan certainly brings levity to the table.

Not only is he a jokester, he is also a prankster. Fearing he did not make enough work for an upcoming exhibition, he once filed a false police report claiming that his art had been stolen from the exhibition venue. He then used the report as the centerpiece of his show to make up for the lack of work. Another time while in Amsterdam, Cattelan stole another artist’s work from a nearby exhibition and tried to pass it off as his own. That was until the police found out and made him return it. 

Given his propensity to jack other people’s work, it comes as no surprise that Cattelan doesn’t even make his own art and rather has technicians produce it for him. He has even admitted that he has no idea how to draw or fabricate his own sculptures; he is simply a dreamer, the mastermind behind the skillful touch of another artisan’s hand.

Not that this stops people from eating up his work like a fat kid with cake. Cattelan is one of the world’s richest living artists with work regularly selling at auction for millions. People just seem to love how his realistic sculptures, while scathing with social commentary, remain lighthearted and playful – just like Cattelan himself.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Maurizio Cattelan

Maurizio Cattelan (born 21 September 1960) is an Italian artist. Known primarily for his hyperrealistic sculptures and installations, Cattelan's practice also includes curating and publishing. His satirical approach to art has resulted in him being frequently labelled as a joker or prankster of the art world. Self-taught as an artist, Cattelan has exhibited internationally in museums and Biennials. In 2011 the Guggenheim Museum, New York presented a retrospective of his work. Some of Cattelan's better-known works include America, consisting of a solid gold toilet; La Nona Ora, a sculpture depicting a fallen Pope who has been hit by a meteorite; and Comedian, a fresh banana duct-taped to a wall.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Maurizio Cattelan.