Maurizio Cattelan (born 1960 in Padova, Italy) is an internationally recognised Italian contemporary artist and curator, commonly referred to as the prankster of the art world. He is known for his darkly satirical and provocative style, his distinctive taxidermied animals and his scathing critiques of authority, power, and corruption. One of his most notorious pieces La Nona Ora (1999) depicts the former Pope, John Paul II, being crushed… Read more
About the artwork
Die/ Die More/ Die Better/ Die Again; Essay: Bice Curiger This publication conceived by Maurizio Cattelan is both a book and an artwork. Like Duchamp's "Boîte-en-valise", it is a survey of Cattelan’s work. The artist designed the loose pages to fit in a carboard box; the hand-illustrated text and images emphasize the character of an artist’s book. Bice Curiger, chief editor of Parkett, has contributed a well-informed essay. The Three Qattelan; Essay: Francesco Bonami The Three Qattelan follows Die / Die more / Die better / Die again (2007) and continues the story of Cattelan's autobiographic ongoing series. The book is entirely edited and designed by the artist, who has selected his long-time interlocutor, Francesco Bonami as interpretant for the volume. In forty-nine pages of handwritten and illustrated text, subsequently printed in offset on the finest of Swedish papers, this book manuscript seeks out the original spirit of making books into artworks. The choice to use illustration and the remove of the calligraphy takes distance from the realm of objective documentary photography and its truth claims. Forty-nine plates painstakingly painted by a Chinese illustrator provide pictures instead of reproductions. The printing of this book has been done to superior standards by Fälth & Hässler, Swedish printers located in the region that is home to Munken paper. Each plate has been printed on one side only, exactly as the artist realized the design. Capable of bending economic, critical, and public media attention to his will, on extraordinary macro-levels, in his autobiography, Cattelan shows that his masterly control ranges from power over multitudes to the precise placement of pictures and punctuation on the printed page. The Taste of Others; Essay: Massimiliano Gioni The Taste of Others is arguably the best volume so far in offering a wide audience access to the master’s work. Written in an engaging style by long-term Cattelan collaborator, and New Museum curator, Massimiliano Gioni, the volume recounts the many editions, and ephemeral projects spawned by the New York-based Italian artist. Gioni’s text goes much further than merely listing the works in catalogue raisonne form. In a tongue-in-cheek and magisterial style, perhaps not even penned by the author, and often writing about himself in the third person, Gioni demonstrates the delicate crossovers between friendship and work, the essential ingredients in the creation of an artist's opus. Though the text (once again hand-painted calligraphy subsequently typeset) and images –also painted in miniature form– takes on an authoritative tone, the knowledge that Cattelan has been the generator of this volume, in form and content, reveal his his fluid entry into editorial, publishing, and other conventions usually not deemed 'artistic'. Illustrations are supplied masterfully by Chinese painter, Fu Site.