Maurizio Cattelan’s Solid-Gold Toilet to Open to Public at Guggenheim
Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s solid-gold toilet, titled America, is due to debut in the Guggenheim Museum’s Upper East Side bathroom on September 16.
The Fifth Avenue museum describes the piece as “a bold, irreverent work”.
The lavatory replaced one of the Guggenheim’s porcelain toilets in a one-person, unisex restroom.
Visitors who pay museum admission will be able to use it as they wish.
The Guggenheim said the piece is “ultimately reminding us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity”.
According to the museum, the exhibit is aimed at “making available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent”.
“Its participatory nature, in which viewers are invited to make use of the fixture individually and privately, allows for an experience of unprecedented intimacy with a work of art,” said the Guggenheim.
Maurizio Cattelan, a 55-year-old Milan-based artist and a truck driver’s son, hinted earlier this year that his creation had been inspired by economic inequality.
The exhibit has also drawn comparisons with Marcel Duchamp’s avant-garde Fountain, the porcelain urinal he exhibited in New York in 1917, causing a sensation in the art world.
Maurizio Cattelan is known for his provocative sculptures, including La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour), which depicted Pope John Paul II floored by a meteorite.