“You might think I am taking the piss, in fact I am giving a piss.”– artist Gavin Turk
In 1961, Italian artist Piero Manzoni put his own shit into tin cans and sold them for their weight in gold.
Now YBA Gavin Turk is going back to Manzoni and taking his idea one step further –– and frontward –– by sealing 2 year’s worth of his urine into bespoke aluminium cans, hand-signed and labelled in 31 languages.
Turk’s Piscio d’Artista is an homage to Piero Manzoni’s 1961 Merda d’Artista, in which the Italian artist challenged the idea of modern art by editioning and selling tins of his own excrement for their weight in gold.
“I love the idea that we don’t just “place” stuff in the trash heap, we “throw” it. We have to somehow eject it in a forceful way so that we can see ourselves in some distance from that thing. But quite obviously, the thing really doesn’t go away. It’s still there, it’s just gone away from you and possibly got closer to other people or to other situations.”– Gavin Turk
After years of research and, ahem, collection, Turk has developed an aluminium can specially screen-printed with the phrase “artist’s piss” in 31 languages and sealed with a hand-signed foil.
Turk and his studio have created a limited run of one thousand 330ml cans of urine, priced at their equivalent weight in silver (£333).
This isn’t the first time Turk has paid homage to an artist using found objects/body fluids – his work “Font,” inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s iconic “Fountain” was displayed at Tate and is currently on view at the Centre Pompidou.
Today Monday, September 13th, Turk has launched a Kickstarter campaign to support the production of this transcendent new body of work. A limited quantity of cans will be available at a reduced price to early Kickstarter backers. more HERE
About the Artist
Gavin Turk is a British born, international artist associated with the Young British Artists. He has pioneered many forms of contemporary British sculpture, including the painted bronze, the waxwork, the recycled art-historical icon and the use of waste in art. Turk’s practice deals with conversations of authorship and identity, concerned with the ‘myth’ of the artist and the authenticity of a work.
Turk’s sense of fun has never been far from the pathos of the work as he rebels and engages in turn. His reputation, like his work, is elusive but he has played a role in shaping the reflexive punkish sensibility of British contemporary art in recent times. His work deftly transitions from portraits of anti-heroes and iconic figures to art historical jokes and rubbish—the waste of our time. His oeuvre has been the subject of a monograph published by Prestel, as well as Trolley Books publication, “This Is Not A Book About Gavin Turk,” which playfully explores themes associated with the artist’s work via thirty notable contributors.
Turk has several permanent public sculptures, including, but not limited to: Nail, a 12-meter sculpture at One New Change, next to St Paul’s Cathedral, London; Axis Mundi (2017), a large painted bronze sculpture of a plug in Paddington Basin, London; and L’Âge d’Or (2019), sited as part of the Sculpture International Rotterdam.