Contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari are the duo behind innovative agency and magazine Toiletpaper, known for its cheeky hyperreal imagery, which has appeared in influential titles like Purple, Dazed & Confused, Vogue and Elle, breaking down the prevailing codes and photographic motifs of fashion.
The duo first met when they created controversial photographs of supermodel Linda Evangelista for W’s November 2009 Art Issue. In 2012, Toiletpaper exhibited on the High Line Billboard in New York City. In the same year images taken from the first six issues were published in an anthology, together with selected narrative texts, that was reviewed in The New York Times’ Top 10 Photo Books. In June 2013, Toiletpaper images have featured on Palais de Tokyo’s front windows and a special edition of Libération.
They shot to fame when they began working with Kenzo in 2013, lending the advertising campaigns their distinctive super-saturated and surrealist flair. The first images featured model Sean O’Pry and actress Rinko Kikuchi pinned to a dissection table alongside other pop-off-the-page bright beetles and butterflies, wearing all-over cloud and eyeball print coats to bold, graphic effect.
Over the succeeding years, photos published in the magazine have been applied to a variety of products and media. Toiletpaper images have been reviewed by weekly and art magazines worldwide and appeared in special issues of magazines such as Vice and Hunger. In addition to the magazine and contemporary imagery created by the pair, Cattelan and Ferrari have diversified their creative output to include furniture, clothing, objects d’art and books. They also have a longstanding collaboration with Italian contemporary label MSGM.
Kenzo and Toiletpaper have continued to collaborate on the partisan house’s campaigns for the past three seasons in addition to collaborating on a collection of T-shirts sweatshirts and iPhone cases, inspired by ancient religious sites in India, Nepal, and China. “We loved that this was something you could find across all of these different cultures, and resonated in so many different worlds,” Kenzo creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon told W Magazine.
“Everything around us can be infected with the Toiletpaper virus... We were trying to design an aesthetic criterion to be applied either for a party, a girlfriend or a design object, and, in part, we can affirm that we made it,” said Cattelan.