The 11th Commandment

Cattelan, Maurizio
Publisher: Three Star Books
Binding: Hardback box
Pages: 33
Measurements: 32.50 x 43.00 cm

Portfolio containing facsimiles of hand-painted images and hand-calligraphed text, featuring 25 works by Maurizio Cattelan. “The 11th Commandment” is distinguished by an in-depth interview with Maurizio Cattelan conducted by Nancy Spector, a rare occurrence as the artist seldom speaks publicly, adding significant value to this edition.

In line with the previous volumes, all images in this book are rendered in a watercolor style and presented as facsimiles on one side of the page only. This unique format transforms the book into a collectible art object, with each page ready to be framed and displayed. Cattelan’s approach reflects a deep understanding of the value and limitations of printed media. By transforming photographs of his works into watercolor interpretations, he creates a new artistic expression while maintaining the integrity and power of the original artworks.

This method echoes the philosophy of The Studio Magazine, a publication from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that was conscious of the nuances involved in reproducing art. They consistently clarified that images within were photographic reproductions of artworks, maintaining a necessary distance for proper appreciation. Similarly, Cattelan’s use of watercolor interpretations serves to protect his works from misinterpretation, ensuring a clear distinction between the original pieces and their reproduced forms.

The final question of the interview, which showcases the essence of the interview between Spector and Cattelan, is as follows:
Nancy Spector: “If you could somehow peer back in time, what advice would you give your 25-year-old self? And what advice would you give a young artist starting out today?”
Maurizio Cattelan: “There is no useful advice simply because there’s no one that would listen to it. Life is a constellation of mistakes that you have to make on your own. But if you were to force me to answer, I would say ‘believe in what you’re doing.’ Be yourself, and never be afraid of being different. And, don’t try to please your audience: halfway solutions are the wrong way.”

This fourth volume of Maurizio Cattelan’s book series, initially launched in 2008 alongside exhibitions at Kunsthaus Bregenz in 2008, Palazzo Reale in Milan in 2010, and the Guggenheim retrospective in New York in 2011, is set to debut in conjunction with “The Third Hand” exhibition at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, 2024.