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View of “Maurizio Cattelan: All,” 2011. Photo: David Heald.

Maurizio Cattelan

View of “Maurizio Cattelan: All,” 2011. Photo: David Heald.

THIS PAST NOVEMBER, the Italian website Doppiozero published a text by Marco Belpoliti titled “The End. Berlusconi & Cattelan,” in which the author and literary critic notes the coincidence of Silvio Berlusconi’s resignation as Italy’s prime minister and Maurizio Cattelan’s announcement that he will retire from the art world after the exhibition “All”—his current bombastic retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York. Yet Belpoliti doesn’t think this is the last we’ll see of either of them: Berlusconi and Cattelan may be saying farewell, but in fact they will, in one form or another, be among us for some time. And this is not the only parallel Belpoliti detects between the artist and the politician. These two figures, perhaps the most talked-about Italian celebrities worldwide, have been more adept at taking advantage of the media than have any of their compatriots. The

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