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Behind the Cover: March 2016

Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, the Italian prankster-photographers behind this month's VICE cover, speak out their inspiration and collaborations.

This article appeared in the March issue of VICE magazine. Click HERE to subscribe.

Italian pranksters Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari have been working together since 2009. In 2010, they founded Toilet Paper, a magazine born out of their shared passion for making gleefully weird imagery. They're known for creating photos that fuse the vernacular of commercial photography with surrealism.

VICE: Tell us about the backstory of the cover image.
Cattelan and Ferrari: Last January, local fire department officials responded to a report of an explosion at a residence on the outskirts of Milan. On arrival, fire officials discovered the front door of the residence open and flames coming from the windows. Inside the residence, officials found a body lying face up on the bed in one of the rear bedrooms. Known for our colorful style, the chief detective called us to take pictures for the case.*

Cattelan and Ferrari

An assistant places ground beef in a skeleton's eye sockets.

The meat sculpture awaits its close-up.

Where did the shoot take place?
Somewhere in California, but we don't want to name a specific location because we want the readers to think everything happening in the photos could happen anywhere.

This is the third cover you've done for us (including our now notorious dildo still life). Do you have a favorite?
We love all of them! They all deal with meat in a different way, and that is something we all have in common.

Where do you get your day-to-day inspiration?
Old poetry. We can't thank poetry enough for our ideas... Also, eavesdropping can be quite resourceful, even if it's terribly rude.