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  • Provenance

    Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Marian Goodman Gallery, Maurizio Cattelan, April – June 2002 (another example exhibited)
    New York, The FLAG Art Foundation, Attention to Detail, January – August 2008 (another example exhibited)
    Bregenz, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Maurizio Cattelan, February 2 – March 24, 2008 (another example exhibited)
    Scottsdale, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Seriously Funny, February 14 – May 24, 2009 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    K. Levin, “Maurizio Cattelan at Marian Goodman Gallery”, The Village Voice, June 2000 (another example illustrated)
    W. Robinson, “Weekend Update,” Artnet Magazine, May 8, 2002 (another example illustrated)
    C. Vogel, “Don’t Get Angry. He’s Kidding. Seriously.” The New York Times, May 13, 2002, p. E3 (another example illustrated)
    F. Bonami, N. Spector, B. Vanderlinden and M. Gioni, Maurizio Cattelan, New York, 2003, p. 157 (another example illustrated)
    Monument to Now: The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens, 2004, p. 54 (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    I’m not trying to overthrow an institution or question a structure of power. I’m neither that ambitious nor that naïve. I’m only trying to find a degree of freedom…I just think that you can create new margins for freedom in every context. MAURIZIO CATTELAN

    (F. Bonami, N. Spector, B. Vanderlinden and M. Gioni, Maurizio Cattelan, New York, 2003, p. 155).

    Always fusing the comic and the conceptual, Maurizio Cattelan’s sculpture Frank and Jamie, 2002, is comprised of two life-size New York policemen turned
    upside-down. Literally, Maurizio Cattelan has rendered these purveyors of authority—New York City’s finest—obsolete and incapable of performing
    their sworn duty to serve and protect the city that never sleeps. Two guardians of law have been made into objects of fun; convention has been turned on
    its head. This poetic subversion is the main ingredient in his work and is the preeminent reason why Cattelan has become the reigning trickster of
    Contemporary Art. He loves nothing more than to tease his viewers, using humor as a means to dissect matters of structure and authority.

    Our two New York City police officers from the now defunct New York City Housing Authority Police Department are dressed in full uniform and are posed upside-down along the wall of a gallery. One crosses his arms, maintaining his watchman post, while the other is poised to grab his baton. Cattelan has spared no details in their rendering, one even wearing a wedding band. He has depicted their expressions and poses completely unfazed—as if they are standing nonchalantly on a street corner fulfilling their duties as defenders of justice. The uncanny life-like qualities push the viewer to wonder whether they are the ones who are seeing things upside down. Though it may seem that he is giving his officers the role of security guard in an exhibition space, they are not only completely ineffective in this task but they have actually turned order
    upside down. Cattelan achieved a similar effect in an exhibition in 1999 when he trapped his gallerist, Massimo De Carlo, to the walls of his own gallery in Milan.

    The present work echoes Cattelan’s 1997 Dynamo Secession, in which two live security guards were installed on bicycles linked to dynamos which in turn powered the light for the exhibition space. Cattelan intrinsically linked those guards to the space in much the same way as with Frank and Jamie; they both infiltrate the gallery space as usually occupied by earnest fine art. The guards in Dynamo Secession are clearly unable to perform their jobs while pedaling their bicycles, for, if they stop, the gallery would darken, inviting mayhem and disorder into its realm. Cattelan is very careful about his choice of subject matter, always selecting highly charged subjects yet refusing to take a concrete position—he is rebellious without calling for revolution. In true Cattelan fashion, Frank and Jamie is ambiguous, as we must wonder what
    the relationship is between their orientation and their absolutely flawless rendering.

    Upon exhibition, Frank and Jamie was met with trepidation in the wake of September 11th, 2001. In an interview with Carol Vogel at the Marian Goodman Gallery’s inauguration of Frank and Jamie in 2002, Cattelan said: “‘We tried to do iconic cops, like in the movies. It’s the right moment because it’s the wrong moment. I didn’t want to make a comment about New York City’s police or Sept. 11th or Amadou Diallo,’ referring to a West African immigrant who was killed in 1999 by four white police officers in an incident that became synonymous with a confrontational style of policing” (C. Vogel, “Don’t Get Angry. He’s Kidding. Seriously.” The New York Times, May 13, 2002).

    Frank and Jamie point us towards the very essence of Cattelan’s work—a constant questioning of authority, be it in the form of law enforcement, gallery owners or art lovers. Yet, there is an element of truth in all joking and Cattelan intentionally provokes our reactions, be they positive or negative. Even through a simple unorthodox orientation, the present lot transforms our notions of authority, begging us to reconsider the disciplinary figures around us. With an act of silliness, Cattelan also brings into question our concept of fear; in keeping order, does it pay to fear society’s watchdogs? Cattelan offers no answers, but in turning authority on its head, he welcomes us to question our own respect for those who promise to protect and to serve.

15

Frank and Jamie

2002
wax, clothes and life size figures
Jamie: 71 x 24 1/2 x 17 3/4 in. (180.3 x 62.2 x 45.1 cm)
Frank: 74 1/2 x 24 3/4 x 20 1/2 in. (189.2 x 62.9 x 52.1 cm)

This work is from an edition of three plus one artist’s proof and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

Estimate
$2,000,000 - 3,000,000 

Sold for $2,322,500

Contemporary Art Part I

7 November 2011
New York