The Prankster Artist Launches the Latest Issue of Toilet Paper At His Guggenheim Retrospective
Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan applies his highly stylized, surrealist approach to the edgy photographic narratives in the latest issue of Toilet Paper, his irreverent magazine produced in collaboration with photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari. “Nobody talks about toilet paper, so I thought it was a good name,” says Cattelan. Known for satirical works that skirt political correctness and confront social norms, Cattelan’s infamous productions include “La Nona Ora” (The Ninth Hour, 1999), a lifelike wax sculpture of Pope John Paul II being crushed by a meteorite. The New York-based artist’s forays into taxidermy and sculptures addressing the absurd, morbid or downright weird have led him to be crowned the daredevil prankster of the contemporary art scene. “I like how easily images multiply like rabbits,” says Cattelan of his photographic pursuits. “I hope some of these images can sustain more than 30 seconds of attention––most images can only sustain around ten seconds.” This latest issue of Toilet Paper coincides with the opening of Maurizio Cattelan: All, the first retrospective of the artist’s work, currently on display at the Guggenheim. The exhibit, which showcases nearly 130 pieces of Cattelan's work suspended from the ceiling of the museum’s legendary rotunda, is also the artist’s swansong; the 51-year-old has announced his retirement, effective immediately.