This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.
Super noi is Cattelan's own entertaining, idiosyncratic and piratical take on the tradition of self-portraiture. The Italian outlaw of the artworld, crown prince of the readymade, convinced a police artist whom he had never met to draw fifty pictures of Cattelan according to descriptions supplied by his friends and relatives.
This simple and beguiling method underlines the fragility of identity, and also the impossibility of communication. Each of these pictures of Cattelan bears a likeness, yet each vision of the artist is different from the other, showing the frustrating constraints of subjectivity and of our own perceptions. "That piece was really about how people around you perceive you in different ways than how you really are," Cattelan explained. "So I was thinking about visualizing the idea of the self. The drawings really looked like me, but at the same time they were like cartoons. They were terrific." (Cattelan, quoted in N. Spector, 'Interview', pp. 6-36, F. Bonami, N. Spector & B. Vanderlinden, Maurizio Cattelan, London 2000, p. 32.)
Cattelan's contributions to the world of art have, over the years, raised many eyebrows. He has stolen exhibitions, erected illegal plinths, absconded with funds and rented out his own exhibition space at the Venice Biennale to advertise perfume. It is only fitting that this subversive presence in the artworld should be captured, with the erring accuracy of eyewitness accounts, in police identity drawings that hint at Cattelan's elusive Scarlet Pimpernel-esque influence in the art world. While keying into Cattelan's artistic criminality, Super noi's repetition of these comic-like images evokes memories of pulp superheroes, feeding the increasing mythology that surrounds him.