Maurizio Cattelan & Pierpaolo Ferrari
In 2010, contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari founded Toiletpaper, a magazine made up of nothing but sparely and sophisticatedly staged photographs. Describing the publication as a salacious six-monthly meeting, Cattelan and Ferrari seem to critique a society dominated by consumption and appearances with provocative pictures. Each of their painstakingly constructed images borrows from the tacky, the sublime, and the absurd to revisit the codes of fashion, advertising, and film.
We always start with a theme, something basic and general, like love or greed, explains Cattelan. Then, as we start, we move like painters on canvas, layering and building. We always find ourselves in a place we didn’t expect to be. The best images are the result of improvisation. We keep homing in on what a Toiletpaper image is. Like distilling a perfume. It’s not about one particular style or time frame; what makes them Toiletpaper is a special twist. An uncanny ambiguity.
As the worthy heirs of Hara Kiri, Cattelan and Ferrari break with normality and readily sow confusion, if not disgust. As disturbing as they are surprising, their images, featuring saturated, explosive colors that look almost too perfect, provoke fear and sow visual pleasure.
Born 1960, Padua, Italy.
Lives and works between Milan, Italy, and New York, United States.
Maurizio Cattelan’s personal art practice has brought frequent attention to the discourse of contemporary art in modern culture. Cattelan’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Born 1971, Milan, Italy.
Lives and works in Milan, Italy.
Pierpaolo Ferrari achieved early success working with the agencies BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi for clients including Nike, Sony, Campari, Heineken, MTV, and the car manufacturers Mercedes Benz, Audi, and BMW.