Well polished, small, colourful and bursting with strong personalities. Maurizio Cattelan’s chess board is what grabbed my attention, when entering the LUMA WESTBAU exhibition, A Blind Man in His Garden.
The former carpenter continues to transpose ideas into physical works, with key element, great humour.
The “Good” side has a great selection of characters from popular culture and history. Martin Luther King chosen as king and Jesus as queen, just one more unnecessary religious offence. More figures in the form of Superman, Gandhi, the first bombshell Sophia Loren, Pinocchio, Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama, Che Guevara, Joan of Arc, a fireman and …Cicciolina? I guess that should give Jeff Koons a pass card to heaven.
But, I must say I am quite tempted to play with the villain characters, too. Dracula is quite an appealing figure. Pure evil captured in the form of Hitler, Stalin, Rasputin. The questionably evil list consists of the tree of knowledge, Moses, Salome and … Donatella Versace? Very cleverly, Cattelan’s choice to introduce Sigmund Freud on both opposite teams, a hint on psychological theories on one’s self cultivation.
Maurizio Cattalan’s “Good versus Evil”, 2003
32 handpainted porcelain and wooden chess figures.
Chessboard: 23.5 x 59.1 x 59.1 cm
Dimensions of figures vary.
Edition of 7, plus 4 APs
Auctioned at Phillips in for an estimated price GBP 120k – 180k. SOLD for GBP 150k
What does this information tell us?
If you want to play chess and fancy having Cruella deVil as your queen and Hitler as your king, you better put your hand a lot deeper in your pocket!
I don’t know whether this art piece belongs to art patron Maya Hoffman, or great collector Michel Ringier, but for sure they could both enjoy a chess session. I am curious, who will choose which side. But also, who will win this battle of good and evil.
Every 1st Monday of the month, Dimitria will present her favourite piece of art.