The Workpot
Piero Manzoni - Merda d'artista

€ 275,000 – Artist’s shit n. 61 by Piero Manzoni

€ 275,000 is the price paid at an auction for the box Piero Manzoni’s artist’s shit number 61. It is a record number for these famous works of art, made in 1961 to protest against those who consider art only a good. Manzoni has produced 90 boxes and so far the most expensive was the number 54, bought for 249,959 euros. In any case, these are very high figures, if you think that at the beginning the cans costed 21,000 lire, the equivalent of 30 grams of gold. The cans have a diameter of 6.5 cm and are 4.5 cm tall. They are all the same and have the same label: “Artist’s shit. Net content gr. 30. Preserved naturally. Produced and boxed in May 1961 “. What do they contain? It is not known, because no one has dared to open one, to not damage the work and lose its value.

Piero Manzoni: He died of a heart attack at just 29 years, but Piero Manzoni was the protagonist of the conceptual art typical of the Fifties and Sixties. The love for art was born after a meeting with Lucio Fontana, an artist famous for holes and cuts on canvas. Like Fontana, Manzoni chooses to provoke the public, as evidenced by the artist’s Shit series, his most famous work, but not the only one. There are also Air Bodies, later called Artist’s Breath, simple balloons that Manzoni inflates with his breath; Lines, lines drawn on a sheet of rolled paper, placed in a cylinder, labeled and signed; the Magic Base, a wooden pedestal for the viewer: just go up to become a living work of art!

Leave a Reply