Maurizio Cattelan was born in Padova, Italy, and currently lives and works between Milan and New York. His artistic practice is broad, encompassing sculpture and performance; he has also published magazines (Toilet Paper) and opened exhibition spaces (Wrong Gallery), making him one of the key artistic figures of the last twenty years. Since the beginning of his career, Cattelan has enjoyed provoking the public: his work constantly balances reality and fiction, paradox and transgression, humour and tragedy. With a macabre irony, Cattelan steals, collects, modifies, moves, substitutes, plays, pushes the boundaries, irritates and confuses our usual visual perspective. He is also an astute connoisseur of the mechanisms of the art world and often uses his knowledge to make fun of the whole scene. At the 1993 Venice Biennale, he gave his space over to an ad agency (Work is an awful career), while in 1999 he curated the 6th Caribbean Biennale, producing just a catalogue and a press conference for journalists. The only thing missing: works of art and artists. In recent years, Cattelan has reinvented himself as a producer and curator, and in 2015, curated the exhibition ‘Shit and Die’ at Palazzo Cavour in Turin.
In 2011, the Guggenheim in New York held a large Cattelan exhibition, which included almost 130 works, all installed in the form of a whirling cascade in Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous spiral. The most important exhibitions of Cattelan’s work include those held at the Fondation Beyeler, Switzerland (2013), DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens (2010), Tate Modern, London (2007). His works were shown at Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi in the exhibitions “In Praise of Doubt” (2011-13) “The World Belongs to You” (2011-12), ‘Mapping the Studio’ (2009-11), ‘Italics’ (2008-2009), “A Post-Pop selection” (2006-7) and ‘Where are We Going?’ (2006).