Maurizio Cattelan and his Idea

Wall Street’s charging-bull statue is the very epitome of financial strength. Outside the stock exchange in Italy’s financial capital is an equally unambiguous symbol: a giant marble middle finger.

The sculpture at the Milan bourse

The sculpture at the Milan bourse

The 36-foot white sculpture is a hand without fingers except that vulgar one, pointing away from Milan’s stock market.

Maurizio Cattelan, the most famous contemporary italian artist, donated it to the city in 2011.

“Some people have a sense of irony, and some do not,” Mr. Cattelan said in an interview. Among those who enjoy a good chuckle, Mr. Cattelan says, are his patrons, who are some of European capitalism’s biggest figures.

The idea of Cattelan was create a statue that would play on—but transform—Italy’s Fascist hand salute from the 1930s. By cutting off the fingers and mutilating the hand, he says he was criticizing the totalitarianism that ravaged Europe in the last century.

L.O.V.E. is the name, Free (Libertà in italian language) Hate (Odio in italian language) Vendetta Eternity. A great declaration of love for ART.

Milan’s business community was immediately up in arms, but the hand with his finger is still there, impressive and full of meaning.



2 Responses to Maurizio Cattelan and his Idea

  1. Pingback: Italian Arts guide: exhibits in Italy « italiaworldwide

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