TOILETPAPER is a collaboration between artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari. The collective is known for their brightly coloured, tongue-in-cheek imagery that transforms the everyday into high art. TOILETPAPER's post-modern aesthetic disrupts the traditions of fashion, design, and art in contemporary culture.Read More
TOILETPAPER are based in New York and Milan.
Cattelan was born in Padua, Italy in 1960. He became interested in art from a young age despite never attending art school. Instead, Cattelan pursued the arts from an unconventional perspective, focusing on the absurd and irrevarent as tools to create controversial and provocative artwork.
In the 1990s, Cattelan began working on hyper-realistic sculptures that depicted art world personalities intertwined with his own self-image. In La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi (2000), Cattelan's miniature effigy hangs from a clothes rack, wearing Joseph Beuy's famous felt suit. Cattelan's self-mockery and use of humour shaped his artistic practice and influences his contribution to TOILETPAPER.
Pierpaolo Ferrari was born in Milan, Italy in 1971. He began to work in the advertising industry from a young age, photographing campaigns for brands such as Nike, BMW, and Campari. After working for a number of cultural magazines, Ferrari began to photograph portraits of actors, musicians, and artists while working on print adverts for brands like Armani and Kenzo.
TOILETPAPER was established in 2010 after Cattelan and Ferrari collaborated in their photography and artistic direction for 'The Art Issue' of W Magazine. Following another successful editorial shoot they worked on for TAR Magazine, the duo decided to team up and collaborate long-term, founding TOILETPAPER Magazine.
After establishing their experimental image-only magazine, Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari became recognised for their specific visual style. The Italian duo's aesthetic is retro and kitsch with a comical flair. Each work draws inspiration from found images taken from the internet and magazines.
For TOILETPAPER's Untitled Series (2017), Cattelan and Ferrari recycle imagery of red lips, smoking pipes, and pool balls and mount them in decadent gold frames. The artists depict everyday objects like consumer goods or animal food in highly stylised compositions and vivid colour palettes. The Untitled Series use of peculiar visuals is influenced by Surrealism and break the aesthetic norms of fashion and advertising by introducing humour and parody to the narrative.
The artworks are made from gilded wood, mirror, glass, and UV colour prints.
For this series of work, TOILETPAPER teamed up with British photographer Martin Parr. The project took as its starting point the collaboration between Martin Parr, Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari for the book ToiletMartin PaperParr published in 2020. Using images from TOILETPAPER's and Parr's rich archives, the artists presented an array of work depicting animals, food, and the human body in a characteristically satirical style. This series of work focuses on the contemporary obsession with images.
The work comprises of small, medium, and large format prints and was first displayed at Villa Medici in Rome, Italy.
Be Water (2021) is a site-specific installation designed by TOILETPAPER. During Milan Design Week 2021, Cattelan and Ferrari transformed the municipal swimming pool Cozzi with a large-scale wall mural.
The commission features the iconic TOILETPAPER aesthetic, portraying a collage of a red-lipped woman's face and hands floating above deep blue waves of water. The mural will remain on display until September 2022.
TOILETPAPER has collaborated with prominent brands including luxury fashion label Kenzo and Italian furniture brand Gufram. The collective has worked alongside recognised artists like Martin Parr and Christian Marclay.
TOILETPAPER has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions.
Solo exhibitions include: TOILETPAPER Studio, Storage by Hyundai Card, Seoul (2021—22); TOILETPAPER: Collaboration between Maurizio Cattelan & Pierpaolo Ferrari, Galerie Perrotin, Tokyo (2017—18).
Group exhibitions include VillaToilet MartinMedici PaperParr: TOILETPAPER & Martin Parr, Villa Médicis: Académie de France à Rome, Rome (2021); Group Show, Galerie Perrotin, Seoul (2019); Summer Gallery Highlights, Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong (2018).
TOILETPAPER is represented by Galerie Perrotin.
Phoebe Bradford | Ocula | 2022