If you’re sick of the same-old floral tablecloths or “World’s Best Dad” mugs, a new line of tableware called “Seletti Wears Toiletpaper” might be the perfect antidote. Designed by provocative Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan in collaboration with Italian home ware manufacturer Seletti, the collection features, among other things, tablecloths printed with beetles and an “I Love U” plate spelled with an image of an actual human heart. It wouldn’t look out of place in the Addams Family’s dining room.
Since 2010, Cattelan has collaborated with fashion photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari in creating a biennial magazine titled Toiletpaper. The text-free glossy is filled with visual puns and surreal tableux vivants that satirize self-serious fashion mags. Stefano Seletti, the art director of the eponymous design firm and a longtime fan of Toiletpaper, approached Cattelan about collaborating on a line of tableware printed with imagery from the magazine’s archives. Cattelan was game: “We think Toiletpaper is a brand that is applicable to different objects: magazines, books, plates, mugs, and tablecloths,” he says in a statement. “Pierpaolo and I are like sadistic scientists: everything around us can be infected by the ‘TP’ virus.”
The MoMA Design Store recently launched the line stateside after it debuted last year at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Here, the TP virus has infected ’50s-style enameled tin kitchenware with oh-so-appetizing images of toilet plungers, severed “lady fingers,” and bitten soap. The trio of oilcloth tablecloths feature Toiletpaper motifs both grotesque and beautiful, such as frog sandwiches and a fish sliced open to reveal a belly full of gemstones. Combining such grotesqueries with wholesome kitsch is a wry, parodic style for which Cattelan is notorious. (He’s is also known for his pranks–in a 1998 exhibition at MoMA, he hired an actor to don an oversized Picasso mask and hobble around the museum rattling a cup, begging for change, a stunt that rattled museum-goers.)
Perhaps more shocking than the fact that this artist put a toilet plunger on a dinner plate is the fact that the collection isn’t priced like a work of art: Products range from $20-$38 at MoMA Design Store.