Italian Artist’s Newest Work
Points Out His Shock Values
This gigantic finger greeted surprised traders arriving for work at the Milan Stock Exchange Monday morning. “Crippled Hand,” the 36 foot tall Maurizio Cattelan sculpture is also known as, of all things, “L.O.V.E.”
It’s part of a retrospective of the artist with a knack for flirting with controversy and free publicity. “La Nona Hora” (The Ninth Hour), for example, depicting the pope being hit by a meteor, was panned by critics and church officials alike. But the public, of course, loved it.
Despite what its imagery obviously suggests to Americans, though, L.O.V.E. is actually a commentary on, again of all things, that infamous Heil Hitler salute. But with Cattelan one never knows. Another one of his sculptures, supposedly decrying the horrors of Holocaust, shows three kids hanging on a tree. It was cut down and defaced by angry protesters.