PRINT Summer 1995


LIKE ZORRO, WHOSE TRADEMARK Z is slashed à la Lucio Fontana into the surface of his painting Untitled, 1993, Maurizio Cattelan acts quickly—with precision, without hesitation, practicing seduction and subversion. Never striking in the same way twice gives Cattelan an anonymity that allows him to appear and disappear when he feels like it. Despite his rapid rise to international prominence, this Italian artist has not yet slipped into either estheticism or professionalism. On the contrary, his notoriety has made him something of a hero adventurer (if one without an adventure), a Pierrot le Fou who has managed to escape the fate assigned him at the end of Jean-Luc Godard’s film.

Playing, feigning, faking, and artificiality are Cattelan’s accomplices. He equates social transgression with artistic transgression—a move well known since Marcel Duchamp wrote a bad check to pay his dentist. Cattelan’s

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