Daddy Daddy [Maurizio Cattelan]

Jennifer Tucker

Contributor

When childhood icons fall out of the spotlight, things get dark…real dark.

Britney Spears had the whole haircutting incident, Lindsey Lohan continues to be a train wreck, and now it looks like hard times have fallen on our beloved Pinocchio.

It really is a tragic day when we realize that even the happiest of our childhood friends can fall victim to calamity and demise. Maybe he was running with a tough crowd and was a victim of foul play, or perhaps suicidal thoughts became rampant in his old age, but either way, Pinocchio has found himself face down and lifeless in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim rotunda.

When this sculpture by Maurizo Cattelan is on view, this curious crime scene meets visitors to the Guggenheim shortly after walking into the lobby. Stark and depressing at first glance, it is good to remember that Cattelan made a career for himself by making a farce of the art world. Often dubbed the court jester of the arts, Cattelan turns everyday objects into dark sculptures with a satirical twist. So while it is sad to see Pinocchio down in the dumps, we can take solace in the fact that Cattelan is just being cheeky. He's using the boy to make a splash in the art world, and this choice is it paying off big time for him, quite literally.

Cattelan is one of the richest living artists in the world, and his sculptures have been known to bring in upwards of eight figures in auction. So while Pinocchio was once the likes of a wooden doll that anyone could afford to pick up at their local toy store, Cattelan has used his fame and artistic touch to transcend the doll to superstar status.

Sadly, as we all know, stardom is often met with a tragic demise. While we can only hope that Pinocchio innocently took a wrong step and fell to his death, maybe he just told one too many lies to the wrong guy.