Maurizio Cattelan (b. 1960)
Maurizio Cattelan (b. 1960)
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Maurizio Cattelan (b. 1960)

Daddy Daddy

Maurizio Cattelan (b. 1960)
Daddy Daddy
polyurethane resin, steel and epoxy paint
13 3/8 x 43 3/8 x 37 in. (34 x 110 x 94 cm.)
Executed in 2008. This work is number two from an edition of three plus two artist's proofs and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.
Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris
Acquired from the above by the present owner
R. Smith, “Museum as Romantic Comedy,” The New York Times, 31 October, 2008 (another example illustrated).
H. Molesworth, “Social Problem,” Artforum, Vol. XLVII, no. 7, March 2009, p. 101.
M. Robecchi, “Maurizio Cattelan,” Interview, May 22, 2009.
Maurizio Cattelan: Is There Life Before Death?, exh. cat., Houston, The Menil Collection, 2010, pp. 74-75 (another example illustrated in color).
Maurizio Cattelan is Dead, exh. cat., Philadelphia, Triple Candie, 2012, pp. 123 and 125 (another example illustrated).
M. Buskirk, Creative Enterprise: Contemporary Art Between Museum and Marketplace, New York, 2012, pp. 276-277 (another example illustrated).
M. Axelrod, Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back, 2016 (video; another example featured)
W. Cooper, “Maurizio Cattelan Is One of Art’s Greatest Mysteries,” VICE, 18 May, 2017.
L. Syson, Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body, exh. cat., New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2018, pp. 14-15 (another example illustrated in color).
New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, theanyspacewhatever, October 2008-January 2009 (another example exhibited).
New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Maurizio Cattelan: All, November 2011-January 2012, pp. 8 and 243, no. 103 (another example exhibited and illustrated in color).
New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Storylines, June-September 2015 (another example exhibited).
Woodstock, Blenheim Palace, Victory is Not an Option, September-October 2019 (another example exhibited).

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Ana Maria Celis
Ana Maria Celis

Lot Essay

In Maurizio Cattelan’s Daddy Daddy, a sculpture of the much loved children’s character Pinocchio lies face down in a pool of water. His lonely body, arms outstretched, is a stark departure from the image of the cheeky puppet who “thinks he’s a boy” that generations of children around the world have grown up with. Originally commissioned for the exhibition theanyspacewhatever at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2008, the figure was installed in the small pool at the bottom of Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic spiral rotunda (that example remains in the museum’s permanent collection). Looking as though he was the victim of a tragic accident (or indeed, something worse), this unsettling, unspoken narrative lies at the heart of Cattelan’s work.

Although Cattelan has incorporated many different characters throughout his career—including the Pope, Hitler, and even himself—Pinocchio holds a special significance for the artist, as he feels it is suffused with a profound mix of anxiety which he feels about his own authenticity as an artist. In the famous Disney animated movie, Pinocchio is told that he can only achieve his life-long wish of becoming a real-life boy if he demonstrates his courage, honesty, and selflessness. However, he is eventually lured away by the appeal of life on Pleasure Island, where foolish and miscreant boys are eventually transformed into donkeys (another of Cattelan’s favorite motifs). Eventually, Pinocchio sees the error of his ways and after sacrificing his own life to save that of his father Geppetto, is bought back to life by the Blue Fairy to live happily ever after. Whilst the Disney movie has a redemptive ending, the fate of Cattelan’s floating sculpture remains deliberately ambiguous, and the work’s title becomes even more poignant.

“What interests me is some images” inner power to stick in your mind permanently,” Cattelan has said. “This impact is inextricably linked to influence—the more impact you can create, the more influence you have. I’m fascinated by the ability to make things go viral: it feels like the closest we could get to having a human superpower” (M. Cattelan, quoted in T. Wychonawok, “We met Maurizio Cattelan,” Numéro 05, December 2016). This captivation with the inherent force of an image is key to Cattelan’s practice. From his suspended horses and inverted police officers to La Nona Ora (1999), a sculpture of a meteor-struck Pope John Paul II, his works have become immediately recognizable. They draw instant attention through bold visual strategies not dissimilar to those of subversive ad campaigns—Cattelan is an admirer of Oliviero Toscani’s work for Benetton in the nineties—or the viral pranks so prevalent in today’s social media culture.

Yet, Cattelan has long refused the title of artist provocateur. Claiming only to hold up a mirror to society, he has said “I actually think that reality is far more provocative than my art,” he has long attested. “I just take it; I’m always borrowing piece—crumbs really—of everyday reality. If you think my work is provocative, it means that reality is extremely provocative, and we just don’t react to it. Maybe we no longer pay attention to the way we live in the world….We are anesthetized” (M. Cattelan, quoted in N. Spector, Maurizio Cattelan: All, exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2012, p. 43).

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