For the High Line, Italian artists Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari have selected an image that at first perfectly blends in with nearby advertisements, but when viewed carefully, encourages a variety of free associations. The image depicts ten female fingers that initially appear to be detached from their hands by mysteriously popping out of a blue velvet background. Like an illusionistic trick performed by a magician, this eerie image highlights the deceptive power of photography, sketching an ambiguous visual tableau reminiscent of Surrealism. Like a Man Ray photograph, the image conjures a dreamlike atmosphere of a film noir, while at the same time it speaks of the city as a projection of dreams of opulence.
Founded by Cattelan and Ferrari in 2010, Toilet Paper is a magazine in pictures without words which investigates our contemporary obsession with images and the way in which commercial photography constructs desire and manipulates our vision. In Cattelan and Ferrari’s carefully constructed photo shoots, the vocabulary of fashion and commercial photography is at the same time celebrated and parodied, by creating what can seemingly be described as advertisement stripped bare of any product.
Photos by Austin Kennedy.