Guggenheim Show Delayed by Problems With Maurizio Cattelan’s Solid Gold Toilet

The 1 percent will have to wait a bit longer for an 18-karat gold toilet.

Maurizio Cattelan, America (2016).Photo: Courtesy of the artist.
Maurizio Cattelan, America (2016).
Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Will the Guggenheim’s plans for an 18-karat gold toilet become a royal embarrassment?

As artnet News reported just two weeks ago, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan‘s solid-gold toilet, titled America, was due to debut in the museum’s Upper East Side bathroom today, as hordes of art world denizens descend on nearby Randall’s Island for the VIP opening of Frieze and other art fairs across Manhattan.

But for those wanting the luxury experience of Cattelan’s aimed-at-the-1-percent commode, the wait will be at least a bit longer.

According to the New York Times, “serious technical issues are holding up production.” No new opening date has been set, and a spokesperson for the museum told the Times: “It’s not days, but I can’t be more specific than that right now.”

artnet News reached out to the Guggenheim for comment but did not receive an immediate response.

The solid-gold toilet is a working replica of one made by Wisconsin-based manufacturer Kohler, but Cattelan’s team reportedly encountered technical difficulties while trying to make the solid-gold dream a reality.

“To the museum’s knowledge, this kind of casting process has never been done before,” the museum spokeswoman said. The Guggenheim insists that it’s not a joke by the mischievous Italian prankster, who puts out a magazine called Toilet Paper, and whose much-hyped project at Frieze New York this year features a live donkey.

The cost of the gold toilet has not been released, though the work is on loan and was paid for with private funds.


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