September 17, 2019 9:23 PM


A cellophane-covered Anna Dello Russo, a grandmother floating in outer space, a pair of hands measuring a perfectly realistic sex toy: These are some of the surreal images one can find while flipping through Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari’s collaborative venture, TOILETPAPER Magazine. For the past three years Cattelan and Ferrari have taken their viewers on an unexpected, yet visually rewarding journey composed solely of their characteristically controversial and boundary-pushing imagery, devoid of text.

An inces-sant artist, Cattelan spoke with TWELV to discuss his “retirement” as well as the upcoming issue of TOILETPAPER, 1968, dedicated to the Italian Radical Design Move-ment, the era responsible for the creation of furniture such as Paolo Lomazzi’s Joe armchair, Vico Magistretti’s stackable Selene chair and inflatable furniture. Images for 1968 are shrouded in secrecy, yet after seeing the magazine and going to its launch parties held in New York City sex clubs, one can only hope to see more of Cattelan’s and Ferrari’s mind- expanding imagery. If only tables could talk...

Many artists claim to retire and then don’t. Are you one of those? How long until a new Maurizio Cattelan exhibit?

I see my retirement as a way of reinventing my- self. I don’t know how just yet, but there are lots of possibilities, you know, all endings are simultaneously new beginnings. Retirement is going to be a kind of extra project, another stage in my development. Had I continued to work, I would have likely ended up having a style, which could be a form of early death. The exhibition of my works is obviously going on, but I’m not producing new works.

How did the idea of TOILETPAPER come about? Were you missing your self-publishing days of Permanent Food?

Imagine TOILETPAPER as a research labora- tory on collective visual imaginary. We are mad scientists testing which images work for our purpose, but we don’t even precisely know what our pur- pose is. Let’s say that Perma- nent Food was a different laboratory, with different techni- cal equipment: it was really important for developing the re- search, but now it would be obsolete.

Shocking is part of your daily vocabulary. Have you ever done anything boring?

I sincerely think of myself as a deadly boring person, but I enjoy everything I do during the day. That’s why I decided to retire: I wasn’t enjoying the art game anymore, I want to start playing something different.

Are there any ideas for the magazine that have been discarded? If so, would you share one with us?

A lot of ideas that didn’t come up in a good photo; hundreds of pictures didn’t survive our strict and severe selection. Sometimes we dis- cover that photos we made that don’t work are more suitable for being a video, such as the girl covered with chocolate licked by a rockabilly guy, or the three pieces of pizza moving like a nuclear alarm.

TOILETPAPER’s next project is 1968, tell us something about it.

It’s a collaboration between DESTE Founda- tion and the TOILETPAPER team. It will focus on the Joannou furniture collection, and includes pieces created between 1968–1978 by important architects and artists of the Italian Radical Design movement. What fascinated us from the very first moment is that in some way these pieces, designed in the sixties, prefigured and shaped the future we are now living in: we wanted to include them in the TP world. Con- sider it as another experiment by the TP mad scientists.


Concept and images by TOILETPAPER



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