(after Cattelan) by Miles Aldridge at Unseen Amsterdam

13 July 2018

The latest edition of the Unseen photography fair was a joy. Loads of visitors, a friendly atmosphere and beautiful art: what else could you wish for? The booth of our friends at Reflex was a particular highlight. They present never seen polaroids by South African photographer Roger Ballen, a beautiful unique piece by Todd Hido and the newest works by Chinese photographer Chen Nong. With the latter having a solo exhibition at the gallery right now. However, our favorite part was the premier of Miles Aldridge’s (after Cattelan) project.

(after Cattelan) is a collaborative project between photographer Miles Aldridge and Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. Cattelan invited Aldridge to respond to his artworks. They worked together over one evening at the Musee de La Monnaie, which resulted in a series of six photographs with Aldridge’s signature models intervening with Cattelan’s most famous sculptures. The complete body of work was shown for the first time at Unseen.

On Saturday Miles Aldridge was also present to sign the limited-edition catalogue that was published along with the project. The catalogue is an artwork in itself. It takes the reader along a path of inspiration by showing some of the classical works that have inspired him as a photographer. Next up are sketches that he made to prepare for the shoot as well as actual footage of the production of the shoot. It is a wonderful insight in the artistic practices of one of today’s most celebrated fine art photographers.

The continuing presence of Maurizio Cattelan’s sculptures, looking over railings, coming out of the floor, hanging from the walls, along Miles Aldridge’s heavily styled models adds a sense of eeriness. As surprising the combination of these two artists might seem at first sight, in the resulting images it makes sense. Michael Bracewell uses his evocative essay, titled ‘Some Kind of Love’, to elaborate further on this.

Miles Aldridge (1964) is a British photographer from London. Miles Aldridge is especially known for his colour-saturated fashion photography editorials for magazines such as American Vogue, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue Italia and Paradis. His work is often as much about sex as it is about fashion. Aldridge works almost exclusively on elaborately constructed and meticulously lit studio sets in Europe, New York and L.A., after which he reworks the photographs. His work has been exhibited in numerous group shows.

Maurizio Cattelan (1960) is an Italian artist from Padova. He’s known for his satirical sculptures and his reputation within the art scene as a joker. His best-known work is La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour) a sculpture that depicts Pope John Paul II dressed in ceremonial gear and being hit by a meteorite. Cattelan’s art makes fun of various systems of order, including the artistic establishment.

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