MI KITSCH KITCHEN, Palma, June 14, 2018
Do you know who Maurizio Cattelan is? Why is he considered the coolest artist in contemporary art? Why do curators idealize him? Why do gallerists adore him? Why do collectors love him?
Well, me neither…
Maurizio Cattelan is well known in the contemporary art world for his taxidermist facet, his work Novecento is an old stuffed racing horse named Tiramisu that is suspended from the ceiling by a harness and Bidibidobidiboo, a stuffed squirrel slumped on the kitchen table with a gun at his feet.
What great idea, I wonder, could be hidden behind an old stuffed horse that hangs from the ceiling?
–Buddy!–exclaims the editor, dying of laughter– I think Maurizio Cattelan feels a “very special” affection for women. Did not you have a German friend named Barbara who was an expert in cooking Tiramisús? Maybe, you should call her to recommend her to change the recipe…
You won´t believe this story but there is a lot of people willing to sell their soul to the editor of MI KITSCH KITCHEN in exchange for an “artistic insult”. François Pinault, for example, the French businessman who leads a huge conglomeration of superluxury and ostentation companies, I mean Gucci, Balenciaga, Ives Sant Laurent, Christie’s and others ones, says Maurizio Cattelan is one of the best artists of our time (it´s not just a coincidence, don´t you think?)
–Buddy, if Pinault says that, will be for something –the editor says as he opens the red folder of unresolved matters– I remind you that he owns the Palazzo Grassi, and was not there where Damien Hirst exhibited his Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable?”
But let’s start at the beginning…
Mauricio Cattelan was born in Padua, Italy, in 1960, a leap year that began on Friday, better known as the year of Africa, when most nations of the continent managed to become independent, and because Jaques Piccard and Donald Walsh reached with their bathyscaphe the bottom of Mariana Islands trench, a submarine that resists great pressures. Maurizio Cattelan official biography explains that before starting his artistic career he was a sperm donor, and before that, he worked as a cook, gardener and assistant in a morgue. The art gossips comment that he designed furniture for a short period of time, enough for, amazingly, a superprestigious art magazine praised his few designs and become famous.
Maurizio Cattelan says, to anyone who wants to hear his nonsense, he started making art because beautiful women are always attracted to the artists (a super-important comment, don´t you think? You just have to read Ronni Wood’s biography).
Inexplicably, Maurizio Cattelan got his first solo exhibition in 1989, but inspiration did not come and he closed the gallery and hung a sign on the door that said: “I’ll be right back”. This sign was all the art exhibited by the artist. In 1992 he collaborated in a collective in Milan with a framed complaint, the theft of “An invisible exhibition” (the Italian police, a super-disorganized cop, is still looking for it) and in 1993, at the Venice Biennale, he sublet his space to an advertising company who installed an ad for a Schiaparelli perfume. He titled the work “Working is a bad job”.
–Ay Caramba! It would not be the perfume of Elsa Schiaparelli, the fashion designer?–Asks the tortured writer, who enters in the kitchen with a pack of A4 pink papers that he has just bought in Chinese store ,–his father was the dean from the University of Sapienza, a well-known Orientalist expert in Sanskrit.
–Dammit! –The exorcist exclaims, filling the coffee machine with mineral water of Son Coco,– Are you speaking about Elsa who married with the medium who was a German Count who abandoned her for Isadora Duncan?
–You are a mind reader, – replies the tortured writer, leaving the pack of A4 pink papers on the table,– Buddy! The Chinese of Chinese shop had already received the rubbers with rainbow tones, he said, if you want, he can save you a package !.
–Don’t scream, she does not hear you … she’s concentrated writing,–says the exorcist, sitting on an orange stool, –Elsa Schiaparelli ended up in Paris surrounded by Dadaists, I think the abandonment of the German spiritualist Count made her feel terrible.
– Ha, ha, ha … Maurizio Cattelan’s jokes are charming – says the editor, dead of laughter– a touching simplicity.
And in 1994, in a gallery in Manhattan, he tied a live donkey to a crystal chandelier, the animal got fucked up and the New York State Department of Health had to close the property. A year later, in 1995, at the Emmanuel Perrotin gallery in Paris, he convinced the gallerist to get dressed of a giant pink penis, each day, for five weeks. He titled the exhibition Errotin le Vrai Lapin (Errotin, the true rabbit), and in 1999 he stick Massimo de Carlo, his Milan Dealer, to a gallery wall with an adhesive tape. The dealer ended up admitted to the hospital, titled the work A Perfect Day.
–I don´t understand that kind of jockes –says the tortured writer– Who can enjoy playing that?
–Mate! You are more innocent than your Jesus–says the editor, giving him a slap on the back of his neck,– I give up! It´s impossible to provide you…
And in 1990, Maurizio Cattelan designed an exhibition with stolen works, he robbed the paintings to an artist who had an exhibition in a nearby gallery and the following year he imagined a sculpture of Pope John Paul II being attacked by a meteorite. When an art collector order him the portrait of his grandfather, he returned a life-size sculpture of an old woman cloistered in a refrigerator; and when Peter Brant, the super-famous art collector, commissioned the portrait of his wife, model Stephanie Saymour, he made Seymour’s bust as if it were a deer head, a “Trophy Woman.”
Sadly, in 2016, Maurizio Cattelan returned to the Guggenheim Museum in New York with a life-size gold toilet that was to replace the usual porcelain toilet, where visitors make their poo and pee. The work was titled America ( I am not sure if it was a tribute to Donald Trump, Marcel Duchamp or Piero Mazoni).
It is not my job to tell people what a work means, although I admit it will have “meaning” for many people.
Maurizio Cattelan Wikiquote
P.S: The editor of MI KITSCH KITCHEN wishes to invite Maurizio Cattelan to have a dinner:
“Maurizio, mate, I hope you read these lines …
I want to invite you to dinner. I’m preparing a fun show with my hell cousins, it will be amazing, I’m super-sure you’re going to laugh a lot.
P.S.S: Do not worry about your seafood allergy, I will buy an Iberian ham 😉