HomeUSAArtist's Pro-Gun Control Piece is Accidentally Hilarious

Artist’s Pro-Gun Control Piece is Accidentally Hilarious

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I know we’re not even halfway through the year, but I think I’ve already found my favorite headline of 2024 courtesy of CNN: “A provocative new work from the artist behind that duct-taped banana tackles gun violence in America”

The artist in question is Maurizio Cattelan, who earned a ton of attention and more than $100,000 after he taped a banana to a wall in 2021, supposedly to highlight the “meaning and importance of objects changes depending on the context.”

Gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin, who displayed the produce duct-taped by Cattelan, told CBS News that year that “whether affixed to the wall of an art fair booth or displayed on the cover of the New York Post, his work forces us to question how value is placed on material goods. The spectacle is as much a part of the work as the banana.”

I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds like a highfalutin way of saying “I wanted to see how much rich folks would pay for my banana if I stuck in on a wall and called it art”.

Now Cattelan has a brand new installation to display, and this one cost quite a bit more than a Chiquita from a corner store. 

The Italian artist and provocateur Maurizio Cattelan shines a light on gun violence and the divisions in US society in a new installation at Gagosian in New York City. Cattelan’s piece “Sunday (2024)” consists of 64 stainless-steel panels plated in 24-carat gold and dotted with thousands of bullet holes.

The work was created by a group of licensed professionals at a gun range in Brooklyn, who shot more than 20,000 rounds into the 3mm-thick panels, which were made in Europe.

“We live in a world where the rich are getting richer and the poor are becoming poorer,” Cattelan told The Art Newspaper. “History has taught us how violently that polarization can end. “This idea was present in ‘America’ (the solid-gold toilet installed at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2016), and I have used gold once again to talk about another aspect of the United States. America was about wealth, and this new work is about violence and wealth,” he added.

Cattelan has made millions off of creations like the aforementioned banana, as well as a sculpture of Adolf Hitler that sold for a whopping $17.2 million at auction last year. Maybe his latest piece is actually celebrating the growing disparity between the world’s richest figures and the rest of us? 

If so, no one connected with the piece is ready or willing to admit that publicly. Instead, we’re getting treated to hilarious statements like this: 

The work is paired with an editioned marble sculpture, “November (2024),” that depicts an unhoused figure urinating on a bench. 

“If you’re free to buy an assault rifle in a department store, what’s wrong with pissing in public?” Francesco Bonami, the exhibition curator, said in a statement.

Now, I’m not aware of any department stores that are in the business of selling “assault rifles”, but I absolutely love this ridiculous non sequitur. I’ve even come up with a few of my own. 

If you’re free to buy a sharp knife at a Walmart, what’s wrong with taking a dump on your neighbor’s porch? 

If you’re free to buy a car that goes 120 mph, what’s wrong with masturbating on a park bench?

If you’re free to buy pot from a dispensary, what’s wrong with breaking into your stepmother’s house and then claiming you were just concerned about her health? 

I’d love to go see Cattelan’s exhibition in person just to giggle at it, but it’s not worth the trip to New York City to view it in person. If you’re near the Big Apple, however, you can check out “Sunday” for yourself at the Gagosian gallery in Manhattan. Just hit the bathroom beforehand. Despite what Bonami said, I have a feeling the gallery staff won’t look too kindly on someone pissing on the floor in front of Cattelan’s gold-plated bullet holes… though you might make good money if you cleaned up your mess, gave the stained rags a name like “Sunshine”, and called it art.   

Read the full article here

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