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.’
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 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.
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!
image © designboom
‘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.
maurizio cattelan (19 articles)
public monuments (12 articles)
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