Surrealism is back and it’s better than ever! First Extraoadinary Gentlemen, and now this.
Maurizo Cattelan has resigned from the art world. If your not aware of one of art’s greatest satirist then you need to familiarize yourself with his work. He is famous for controversial imagery referencing areas from pop culture, religion and history. He famously killed Pope John Paul II with a meteorite in ‘La Nona Ora‘ (The Ninth Hour), and in Milan hung from a tree life sized models of children by their necks.
A retrospective of his work is currently on show at the Guggeheim in New York where he uses a similar devise as in Milan. In ‘Maurizo Cattelan – All‘, he has ‘hung’ his work in the central rotunda of the building as if all has been dropped from the gallows. (There’s a nice video if you follow that link)
But thats not what Im excited about. His art career may be dead, but he has moved on to newer things. And it is good.
Along with photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari, who he collaborated with for ‘W’ Magazine in 2009, Cattelan is producing ‘Toilet Paper’, a magazine filled with surreal and often slightly disturbing or questionable imagery. Toilet Paper references the disposable nature of print. As Cattelan put it: “Sooner or later all magazines end up in the toilet”. I reckon you’d question throwing this mag away though. With its high production values and provocative imagery, this work is really in a different category.
The images are amazing. They’re disturbing, they’re beautiful, they’re sexual and macabre. They are challenging, and some would argue that they are blatantly trying to be so, but I don’t mind that at all. I love the confusion they create, and that they leave you with an idea of a story, but just one where you have no real notion of what is going on.
And the videos…..the one posted above, I just can’t get enough of it. I think I have watched those girls scream at least 20 times. Does that make a little creepy? I don’t know? There is just something about it, the matching uniforms and the absence of whatever it is that is actually causing the scene. The fact that you have to fill in the gaps and that there are no clues or follow up, it all adds so much to the work.
You HAVE to check out the Toilet Paper site… there is a load of these short films on there, equally as good. And if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a copy of the magazine itself, hold onto that thing. Do not use as the title suggests!
(Oh, and if your interested in Maurizo Cattelan’s recipe for ‘Venetian Style Cat Casserole’ that he whipped up for Wallpaper magazine, you can find all the details here. Not ideal reading for cat lovers!)