Never a dull moment with Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan: his stuffed racehorse was bought for £619,750 at Christie's London auction house to a mystery bidder in 2001. After Tiramisu - the racehorse - died of natural causes, Cattelan had her stuffed, but only partially: the pelt was stretched over a frame to keep the mare from weighing too much since Cattelan had the plan of hanging the horse from the ceiling. The legs were deliberately elongated, to add to the pathos. The work entitled La Ballata di Trotsky first went on display in the Museum of Modern Art in Castello di Rivoli, Turin, in 1997. It was also included in the Tate's controversial Abracadabra show along with Cattelan's suicide squirrel.
In an article for the Independent, Louise Jury writes that Cattelan claims he doesn't mean to shock: a highly suspect claim. As Jury quotes, when Cattelan started using animals in his art, he wasn't interested in "the morbid relationships that seem to tie people to animals. My animals were intended to be characters, images, things. But the more I work with animals, the more perverse the relationships between animals and human beings seem to be. People seem to be really intrigued, disturbed and charmed by my animals." [read article +]