“I should like all artists to sell their fingerprints, or else stage competitions to see who can draw the longest line or sell their shit in tins. The fingerprint is the only sign of the personality that can be accepted: if collectors want something intimate, really personal to the artist, there’s the artist’s own shit, that is really his.”
Artist’s Shit (Italian: Merda d’artista) is a 1961 artwork by the Italian artist Piero Manzoni. The work consists of 90 tin cans, each reportedly filled with 30 grams (1.1 oz) of faeces, and measuring 4.8 by 6.5 centimetres (1.9 in × 2.6 in), with a label in Italian, English, French, and German.
A tin was sold for €124,000 at Sotheby’s on May 23, 2007; in October 2008 tin 83 was offered for sale at Sotheby’s with an estimate of £50,000–70,000. It sold for £97,250. On October 16, 2015, tin 54 was sold at Christies for £182,500. In August 2016, at an art auction in Milan, one of the tins sold for a new record of €275,000, including auction fees. The tins were originally to be valued according to their equivalent weight in gold – $37 each in 1961 – with the price fluctuating according to the market.