Maurizio Cattelan + Pierpaolo Ferrari: Toiletpaper
"We take all the visual entropy produced in a schizophrenic way and we channel it into a new identity.”
Contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari are the duo behind TOILETPAPER, known for its cheeky hyperreal imagery, breaking down the prevailing codes and photographic motifs of fashion. Photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari first met artist Maurizio Cattelan when capturing him on camera more than ten years ago. The magic worked and the pair went on to create the experimental art magazine TOILETPAPER in 2010. In a class of its own, the image-only publication features carefully constructed photographs in a unique time and mental space.
On the surface, the composition shots in TOILETPAPER have a quaint, slightly retro feel to them —an artful way of drawing us in before catching us off guard as we realize what we are actually looking at… Intriguing, comical, startling—the images in TOILETPAPER are guaranteed to leave their mark. “Image recycling is our inspiration. TOILETPAPER is the new frontier of media and creative eco-sustainability. "We take all the visual entropy produced in a schizophrenic way and we channel it into a new identity.”
TOILETPAPER’s assemblages are of course inspired by “found images” taken from the Internet and magazines: breaking down prevailing codes of fashion, advertising and cinema is the duo’s leitmotiv. On top of this comes an eclectic mix of forms: from consumer items and food to animals of all kinds, perhaps alluding to the artistic work of Maurizio Cattelan. The main reason why the duo originally opted for a magazine as a platform for their art was to ensure the images circulated among the widest possible audience.
In 2012, TOILETPAPER exhibited on the High Line Billboard in New York City. In the same year images taken from the first six issues were published in an anthology, together with selected narrative texts, that was reviewed in The New York Times’ Top 10 Photo Books. In June 2013, TOILETPAPER images have featured on Palais de Tokyo’s front windows and a special edition of Libération. They shot to fame when they began working with Kenzo in 2013, lending the advertising campaigns their distinctive supersaturated and surrealist flair. In addition to the magazine and contemporary imagery created by the pair, Cattelan and Ferrari have diversified their creative output to include furniture, clothing, objects d’art and books. In 2016, they worked with French group CASSIUS and produce their “Ibifornia” album cover and the video clip of hit “Action”. TOILETPAPER images featured are put into motion within a surrealistic story teleporting Philippe Zdar and Hubert Boombass to “Ibifornia” island.