I was in the middle of one of these epic arguments with an artist friend of mine. He was saying how this generation of Internet addicts and geeks is wasting his time online. I, on the other hand, was advocating Internet creativity, saying how in any given moment the Internet creates more art than any artist will ever do over his entire life. Such art is created by anonymous for anonymous and circulates freely. As it often happens I got pretty upset and decided I wanted to prove he was wrong. So we made a bet: “We open 4chan.org and the first image that appears will become a work of art, by one of the biggest artists in the world”. What will come out of the experiment will determine who is right. We did it, and the first image that appeared, unsurprisingly, was a Lolcat.
The image was a photomontage of an angry-looking cat imprisoned in a birdcage while a free bird perched atop is looking down at him. As soon as we saw it we agreed: it’s going to be “a Cattelan”. Maurizio Cattelan is the Italian art-star widely known for his satirical sculptures, often incorporating taxidermy animals. We sent the image to a taxidermist and soon we received a box by mail: the “sculpture”! It still needed an audience.
The work has been exhibited at Inman Gallery Annex, in Houston, TX, for a month now. Local arts enthusiasts and visiting arts professionals have been stopping by, especially excited by the new work of Maurizio Cattelan.
The reception of the new sculpture by Houston’s art community was very positive. «I’m sorry for the cat», remarked Eric Irving, «but this is tragic and comic at the same time, Cattelan’s ironical and anti-authoritarian approach stands out at his best».
Collectors inquired for its price and were willing to spend huge amounts of money to buy it. Photos started circulating online: «He’s a genius» wrote Jonathan Line on Facebook «He is the only one able to surprise me every time».
As is natural on the Internet the photo of the sculpture gained an even new life through anonymous manipulations:
Somehow the circle was closed, and what started on the Internet went back to the Internet. For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
More info: http://www.0100101110101101.org