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‘L.O.V. E. Souvenir di Milano’ is a miniature reproduction of one of Maurizio Cattelan’s most discussed sculptures. The monumental original 'L.O.V. E. Statue' (Libertà, Odio, Vendetta, Eternità; meaning freedom, hate, vengeance, eternity in Italian) resides in Milan’s Piazza Affari in front of the Italian stock exchange building. In this work a male hand is supported by a pedestal. All of the fingers of the hand are cut off, except for the middle one, sending a droll and sarcastic message to Italian financial institutions.
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Known for his sarcastic and macabre style, conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan (Italian, b. 1960) has a reputation for being a joker within the art world. Yet, his humorous approach to art often obscures his more serious efforts to explore societal norms and taboo topics. Influenced by Surrealism and Dadaism, his sculptures and installations have critiqued various art world and historical figures, including Pope John Paul II, Adolf Hitler, Emmanuel Lapin, and Cattelan himself. His work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Louvre, the Museum fur Moderne Kunst, the Guggenheim, and the Venice Biennale multiple times.