See 11 Great Selfies With Maurizio Catellan’s 18-Karat Gold Toilet at the Guggenheim
It's the latest art world spectacle.
On Friday, September 16, artist Maurizio Cattelan officially emerged from his self-imposed retirement with the installment of his 18-karat gold toilet in the Guggenheim Museum. The participatory project, titled America, has taken up residence in a restroom on the fifth floor ramp. Needless to say, selfies have been abundant since the shiny new spectacle debuted.
“In a gallery environment where visitors are usually told, ‘don’t touch,’ this is an extraordinary opportunity to spend time completely alone with a work of art,” the Guggenheim touted in an Instagram post.
According to one museum-goer, the wait to see the installation lasted about two hours. Once inside, spectators posted images of themselves and friends in humorous positions paired with equally clever captions. “$3M. Don’t give up on your dreams,” one Instagrammer wrote to accompany an image of himself sitting on the toilet. “Royal Flush,” another one declared.
Others, meanwhile, like the Jewish Museum’s digital director JiaJia Fei, pondered photographing variations of the gold toilet. “Last night I had a dream that Maurizio Cattelan also made a urinal at the Guggenheim and I took a selfie in it,” Fei said in a tweet.
That the functional object is titled America is, of course, no minor detail. In an interview with the New York Times earlier this year, Cattelan predicted that the general public would adopt any number of interpretations. “It’s not my job to tell people what a work means,” he said. “But I think people might see meaning in this piece.”
See how visitors have been engaging with the piece in the roundup below:
Follow artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.