Italian provocateur Maurizio Cattelan is best known for his satirical and unforgettable sculptures, such as La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour), which depicts the Pope John Paul II struck down by a meteorite.
Maurizio Cattelan has gained a reputation as a joker, and his controversial gallery performances and sculpture carry a dark yet humorous undertone. Other well known works include HIM, a sculpture resembling a schoolboy kneeling in prayer, except that the head has been replaced with the realistic likeness of Adolf Hitler, and L.O.V.E, a 36-foot white marble sculpture middle finger sticking straight up from an otherwise fingerless hand, pointing away from Borsa Italiana in Milan.
In this untitled image Maurizio Cattelan had an actor wearing a striped t-shirt and sandals with a mask of Picasso’s face greet visitors to the opening of a Jackson Pollack exhibition at New York’s MOMA in 1998. In doing so Cattelan was satirising the museum and its similarity to a cultural Disneyland. Said Cattelan, ‘The public, coming to see an exhibition of Jackson Pollock, understood the concept so well that they thought it was Jackson Pollock himself, welcoming the public’.
In 2004 Maurizio Cattelan was named the most powerful artist in ArtReview magazine’s ‘Power 100’ poll. His work is held in some of the most important collections worldwide, including Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens, and the Castello di Rivoli, Turin.
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