Maurizio Cattelan is one of my all time favourite artists. In the picture above Spike wields a framed copy of October 1996 Flash Art magazine, Maurizio’s work “Bidibidobidiboo” from the same year that I lovingly colour photocopied this cover and framed it. Cattelan was a perfect fit for my obsessions with absurd, dark, humorous, and taxidermied animals when I was at art school 20 years ago… those were the days when art school students were newly tackling the concept of installation art and post modernism (or was that just me?)
Born in 1960 Cattelan started his career as a furniture maker in Italy and had his first solo show in 1989 when he was 29. Today Cattelan, 51, thinks of himself as an artist driven by these eccentric necessities. As artists I believe we feel a pull of some (ridiculous?) kind and hope that we can all to some degree follow our sometimes absurd eccentricities. I believe Cattelan totally paved his way and I love this about him! Go look at his work it'll make you smile :)
Maurizio was an inspiration to me from early on. His work was always fresh, funny and random. I also loved the aesthetic of his work, the simplicity and boldness maybe owing to his furniture making background and an intrinsic Italian flair. To me it has always seemed like art was life for him and he was having fun with all his works, there was also a serious side to his work, but not too much ego.
Maurizio Cattelan’s first show in New York, in 1994, consisted of a self-portrait in the form of a live donkey wandering around a gallery under a chandelier, braying inconsolably. That show wasn’t up long—there were noise complaints.
He said of his Guggenheim retrospective in 2011-
I don’t know how I arrived at this point, at the Guggenheim. There must be something wrong somewhere- Maurizio Cattelan