Middle finger sculpture – literally – in Milan

Ok, what do you think about this: disgusting idea or just art?

Maybe Casey Chan is right: sometimes you just need to flip off the world by building a middle finger statue!
Well, this is what happened in Milan:

“A bold new sculpture strategically placed in front of the Milan Stock Exchange of an 11-metre tall marble middle finger has sparked some controversy in the fashionable Italian city.

The sculpture, called L.O.V.E., was crafted by contemporary Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, whose other controversial works include a sculpture of Pope John Paul being hit by a meteorite, the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph reports. His work is often described as unsettling, surprising and satirical.

“[Cattelan's works] call our times into question, offering themselves as a mirror, however cracked, of our present,” said Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, Milan’s commissioner for culture.

The provocative sculpture has sparked praise and criticism alike from local politicians and intellectuals over the merits and disadvantages of displaying controversial and possibly offensive works in such public places like a city square.

But Mr. Cattelan says people are misunderstanding his art. From the Telegraph:

Asked about the meaning of the work, Mr. Cattelan said his work was more an act of love than a comment on the financial world. “It is mainly about imagination,” he said.” (Read more)

There is more:

“The sculpture will now remain in the Piazza d’Affari outside the Milan stock exchange until the end of a retrospective of Cattelan’s work in the city on 24 October.

Now admirers of the artist’s work are pressing for the piazza to become its permanent home”. (Read more)

Antonella Ciociaro from Reuters was also wondering if Cattelan’s finger could be a signal  for the business world.

Anyway, this 11-meter high installation is in the middle of Italy’s financial capital, and it’s provoking a lively debate.

Honestly, I don’t see anything wrong in this sculpture itself, and I believe art should have no limit. But does this mean that we can put every piece of art – of any kind – in the middle of the piazza?

What is appropriate for a public space and what is not?

What do you think? Would you want a sculpture like this in your city, maybe in the direction you take your kids home from school?

Let me know…

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7 responses to “Middle finger sculpture – literally – in Milan”

  1. Debra Kolkka says :

    It is a bit cheeky.

  2. Circe says :

    I love it! But I agree the discussion around the “reasonble limit to art” is a troubling one. I don’t think we can make generalizations about the topic, but rather look on a case by case basis.

  3. Rossella says :

    Just art!!

  4. allan says :

    The question of what is right and what is wrong is a question for society or those who live and work around such an art piece. Art is a wonderful thing which can have many different interpretations. I look at it an see a big fuck you to the financial industry but that’s my bias. The artist says that is not the intention of his installation though. Art can take on a meaning of its own and out live what the artist intended. For me I see art when I look at it but I don’t have to see it everyday. My city had an art installation which I did not understand or care for in the beginning but over time I began to like it and it represented something good to me. Maybe that is what people will need for Cattelan’s work.

  5. A. says :

    This is not art!! This is just kitsch!!!

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