For UNDER THE HAMMER’s seventh week [Un]original, Simon Williams took his inspiration from the famous act of defiant mockery of the art world, artists, and criticism, the piece Artist shit (merda d’artista) by Piero Manzoni; An Italian artist known for his ironic approach to avant-garde art.

In response to his father critic “Your work is shit”, Manzoni created 90 tins labelled "Artist's Shit", contents 30gr net freshly preserved, produced and tinned in May 1961” in Italian, English, French, and German. The tins where originally priced according to the price of the gold.  However, in August 2016, one of the tin sold for the record price of 275,000€.

In 1989, Bernard Bazile a French artist, made the performance the open on of the famous tin in public. No mystery was elucidated since a second tin, smaller (in Italian, scatolina), was inside the receptacle.

If the artwork doesn’t get sold before next Monday 11am, it will be eaten and consequently turned into shit.


Name: Shit

Date: June 2017

By: Simon Williams, JAKBOX

Materials: 200g tin of minced beef and onion with 80gsm printed paper label

Signed: Yes

Height: c. 6cm

Width: c. 7.5cm

Depth: c. 7.5cm

Watch The fast version