Maurizio Cattelan is a celebrated artist who is renowned for facetious sculptures and installations that poke fun at popular culture, history, and religion in a manner that is at once irreverent and bitingly critical. The stunt, like much of Cattelan’s work, hovered between homage, critique, and a joke at the expense of grim-faced art critics.
The genesis of the Seletti Wears Toiletpaper suite came from Toiletpaper, the glossy publication founded in 2010 by Cattelan in collaboration with photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari. Toiletpaper contains no text, but combines slick photography with twisted narrative tableaux to create an explosively original journal that perfectly encapsulates Cattelan’s aberrant oeuvre.
In an interview with Vogue Italia, Ferrari explained, “The magazine [is derived] from a passion/obsession that Maurizio and I have in common. Each picture springs from an idea, even a simple one, and then becomes a complex orchestration of people who build tableaux vivants. This project is also a sort of mental outburst.”
The idea to bring the aesthetic of Toiletpaper to the tablewear and rug colelction came from Stefano Seletti, art director of the Italian design firm founded by his family in 1964. Seletti, who has been a fan of Toiletpaper and its artful images since its debut, propositioned Cattelan and Ferrari to transform the imagery found in their magazine into a line of radical tableware and rugs.
Following the success of the line’s worldwide premiere at Salone del Mobile in Milan and the subsequent presentation at Maison&Objet in Paris, the complete Seletti Wears Toiletpaper suite was recently launched stateside by the MoMA Design Store.