Those who like their art just as functional as it is beautiful need look no further than Maurizio Cattelan’s “America,” a fully functioning solid 18k gold toilet that threatens to upstage Duchamp’s infamous urinal as the art world’s most talked about bathroom fixture.
The piece, which is on exhibit at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum as part of an ongoing project, is available for use by viewers individually and privately; according to the New Yorker, it is also extremely sanitary, thanks to museum staff cleaning it every 15 minutes. Gothamist estimates the cost of the appliance to be somewhere between $1,474,592 and $2,527,872, but users have access to it with the relatively low cost of museum admission.
Cattelan’s work has long been characterized by the controversial — besides “America,” his pieces include a sculpture of the pope being crushed by a meteor, a statue of a giant marble middle finger flipping off the Milanese stock exchange, and a bust with the likeness of supermodel Stephanie Seymour nicknamed “Trophy Wife,” that was commissioned by her husband, art world maven Peter Brant.
The opportunity to use a golden toilet — or perhaps more accurately in this digital age, take a selfie with or on a golden toilet has proved irresistible to many, with New York Magazine reporting that the average wait to experience the exhibit clocking in at about two hours.
With that in mind, here are some of the best ‘Grams documenting the experience of seeing Cattelan’s “America.”