Friday, October 21

Modern Art

Piero Manzoni (1933-1963)
Artist's Shit 1961
Merda d'artista

Tin can with paper wrapping with unidentified contents
object: 48 x 65 x 65 mm, 0.1 kg

Purchased 2000
From the Tate, which paid £22,300 ($61,000)
What did the artist say? "I should like all artists to sell their fingerprints, or else stage competitions to see who can draw the longest line or sell their s--- in tins," he wrote. "If collectors really want something intimate, really personal to the artist, there's the artist's own s---. That is really his."

The cans were sealed according to industrial standards and then circulated to different museums around the world.

In addition to the Tate, the Pompidou Museum in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York have bought cans since. At least 45 of the original 90 cans have exploded, however. This is exactly what Manzoni intended. Soon after he created the cans he told a friend "I hope these cans explode in the vitrines of the collectors."

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