maurizio cattelan's middle finger displayed in milan
maurizio cattelan's middle finger displayed in milan
sep 26, 2010

maurizio cattelan's middle finger displayed in milan

the extended middle finger, pointed towards the financial gurus image © designboom




the most recent and much discussed artwork by maurizio cattelan arrived today in milan’s piazza affari, in front of the italian stock exchange building. the controversial monument is made in marble, about 4 meters high and has been allocated on a base that brings the sculpture to a total height of 11 meters. during the making process, the famed italian artist changed the title from ‘omnia munda mundis’ – literally meaning ‘to the pure [men], all things [are] pure’, a latin sentence that has entered a relatively common usage in many countries – to ‘L.O.V. E.’

maurizio cattelan's middle finger displayed in milan giving the finger to bankers image © designboom




‘officially it’s name is L.O.V. E. – so it stands for love – but everyone can read between the lines and take away the message they see for themselves.‘ maurizio cattelan maurizio cattelan's middle finger displayed in milan image © designboom




conceived especially for milan, all the fingers of the hand are cut off, except for the middle one, final mockery of all ‘isms’ – ‘against ideology’. the public monument was donated to milan but immediately refused by the city’s administrators.

maurizio cattelan's middle finger displayed in milan image © designboom




the sculpture represents also the semantic turnover of the leader’s assertive gesture and of power, codified by the classical monument. a dialogue with the past: indeed, the artist is convinced that he has actually proposed a conservative and traditional work… an opinion which the top leaders of palazzo marino (the city’s town house) do not agree with. — it will be on view for only 10 days, during milan’s fashion week!


maurizio cattelan's middle finger displayed in milan image © designboom

maurizio cattelan's middle finger displayed in milan

see here and here more images

maurizio cattelan's middle finger displayed in milan

maurizio cattelan's middle finger displayed in milan




‘we want to be confirmed as the capital of contemporary art‘, the city’s administrators officially stated, ‘and we have to not only mediate but also accept what we do not like‘.


the sculpture is part of an exhibition of the artist’s works at the museum palazzo reale, which opens today. at palazzo reale, only 3 more works are on view in the exhibition ‘against ideology’ : the ‘crucified woman‘, an installation of a life-size girl nailed down with pieces of wood and nails in a package box and put up on a wall, ‘la nona ora‘ (the ninth hour), the representation of pope wojtyla fallen to the ground, holding the pastoral in his hand, hit by a meteorite, and ‘the drummer‘.


the italian political class continues to stand in the way of cattelan’s art, a phenomenon which luckily has not occurred at the guggenheim museum of new york, ready to host in 2011 a retrospective dedicated to the contemporary master. the museum has approved all the material to exhibit, without any protest, neither against the ‘loathed middle finger’ nor against the  hanging baby-puppets.

  • Follow Maurizio Cattelan’s concept, it probably shows how the financial mechanism actually look at people who are not in its game.

  • @whenthecathedralswerewhite
    michelangelo is not puking and rodin is not roling over because they’re dead. you’re conversation is older than even they are.

  • only a moron, or a liberal could think tha’s art-

    V. DaVinci
  • I agree that the he is both referring to the bankers in an agressive and passive sense, reflected in the dual titles.
    Agressive in higlighting the bankers attitude as mentioned above.
    PAssive in that he has removed the 4 digits aka L.O.V.E.
    He shows us without these four digits/letters what we are left with.

  • The Commune of Milano doesn’t seem to accept contemporary art despite being a booming center of creativity. Look at all of the controversy over the fantastic work of Claes Oldenburg and Coosije van Bruggen in Piazza Cadorna! The 18 m glass and steel needle and thread gives the whole zone energy, yet it was nearly not accepted.

  • to whenthecathedralswerewhite,

    you don’t understand neither art nor other things. you should die believing the old traditions of 15-18th centuries, because you can’t see the world as it is now. you simply have no eyes.

    forza italia
  • @herbert:
    i think this makes allusion to the rude attitude brokers have de facto towards victims of capitalism. They have no sense of responsability for the society they live in. they live the rude “grab the money and run” attitude. So I presume the direction is right, because the spectator is supposed to realize the offensive attitude bankers tend to have towards “silly consumers” (typical excuse of madoff and others)

    art is t in motion
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