Maurizio Cattelan is one of the most popular as well as controversial artists on the contemporary art scene. Taking freely from the real world of people and objects, his works are an irreverent operation aimed at both art and institutions. His playful and provocative use of materials, objects, and gestures set in challenging contexts forces commentary and engagement.
Cattelan first achieved notoriety on an international scale in New York with La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour), a wax statue of Pope John Paul II hit by a meteorite, which was originally exhibited in 1999 at Kunsthalle Basel. Since 2010, L.O.V.E., a public art intervention permanently installed in Piazza Affari, Milan, triggered the reappropriation by citizens of a square otherwise forgotten. In that same year, Cattelan started a biannual, picture-based publication, TOILETPAPER, co-created with the photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari. In 2011, he provoked a lively debate with an installation of two thousand stuffed pigeons, presented at the 54th Venice Biennale. That same year, Maurizio Cattelan was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, in which all his works were suspended from the ceiling.