GOLDEN Potty For Museum Guest
Visitors to the Guggneheim Museum in New York City are lined to use its facility and it’s not because they have an urgent need “to go.”
It’s because they’re all anxious to experience relieving themselves in the museum’s latest exhibit. It’s an 18 karat gold toilet created by Italian artist Maurizo Cattelan who said it’s meant to signify Americans’ obsession with wealth and excess.
It’s fully functioning potty located on the museum’s fourth floor and guests are invited to use it, museum officials said. It accepts either liquid or solid waste and it’s connected to the building’s regular plumbing system. However, it receives special treatment. Medical wipes are used to clean it after each use because harsh, industrial strength cleaners may tarnish its splendor. In addition, it’s steam cleaned and polished quite often to make sure it retains its luster. It’s the size of regular porcelain toilet. Museum officials wouldn’t put a price on its latest exhibit but with gold hovering around $1,300 an ounce, it’s estimated to be worth as much as $1.7 million.
Museum officials said they expect huge crowds so they’ve hired a full time security guard to watch over it. No bags are allowed into the restroom where the golden throne rests because officials want to ensure visitors don’t vandalize it or try to steal something off its prized possession. There’s no fee for its use after visitors pay the $15 entry charge to the museum.
“Users will have a remarkably intimate and unusual encounter with this particular artwork,” stated curator of contemporary art, Katherine Brinson. “It’s a bold, irreverent work,” she added.
“Cattelan’s toilet offers a wink to the excesses of the art market, but also evokes the American dream of opportunity for all, it’s utility ultimately reminding us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity,” another museum official stated.
The artist, age 55, is the son of a Milan truck driver who said he was inspired by “economic inequality.” It’s his first artistic piece since 2011.
He added that its creation acknowledged the creation of Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain”, a urinal sculpture created in 1917.