Born in Padua in 1960, Cattelan is one of the most popular as well as controversial artists on the contemporary art scene. Taking freely from the real world of people and objects, his works are an irreverent operation aimed at both art and institutions. His playful and provocative use of materials, objects and gestures set in challenging contexts forces commentary and engagement. He first achieved notoriety on an international scale in New York with "La Nona Ora" (The Ninth Hour), a wax statue of Pope John Paul II hit by a meteorite, which was firstly exhibited in 1999 at the Kunsthalle Basel. Since 2010 "L.O.V.E.", a public art intervention permanently installed in Piazza Affari, Milan, triggered the re-appropriation by citizens of a square otherwise forgotten. In that same year Cattelan started a bi-annual, picture-based publication, TOILETPAPER, co-created with the photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari. In 2011, he provoked a lively debate with an installation of two thousand stuffed pigeons presented at the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale. That same year, Maurizio Cattelan had a one-man show at the Guggenheim in New York, with all his works suspended from the ceiling. From September 2016 until september 2017, in the same museum's restroom he replaced the toilet with a fully functional replica cast in 18-karat gold, making it available to the public; in the same year he is invited to exhibit a selection of his most important works at La Monnaie de Paris, resulting in a retrospective titled after one of his work, "Not afraid of love". In 2018 he curated "The Artist is Present", a group show born with the idea of questioning the most hallowed principles of art in the modern era: originality, intention, expression. He has exhibited in major European and American museums and participated in the major international exhibitions of contemporary art.