People have always been obsessed with gold and often times go to great lengths to create extravagant gold pieces, from jewelry to clothing, and even art. Last Friday however, the Guggenheim Museum went to new heights with installing its first gold toilet, while made of solid 18 carat gold, is fully functional and can be used by the general public.
Italian artist, Maurizio Cattelan designed and made the toilet in Italy. Two toilets were shipped to Italy and Cattelan cast the toilet in several pieces before he welded the pieces together.
Cattelan named the golden throne, America. Are you wondering why? He says it represents Donald Trump and is meant to highlight what the museum describes as Americans’ increasing obsession with wealth and excess. According to the museum’s press release, “the aesthetics of this ‘throne’ recall nothing so much as the gilded excess of Trump’s real-estate ventures and private residences.” It is known that The Donald has gold chairs in his Manhattan penthouse.
In Cattelan’s words the toilet is “one-percent art for the ninety-nine percent person.”
According to the museum, the toilet is available to general visitors at the museum and is not to be confused with being a “no touch” exhibit. Located on the fourth floor in a standard stall, museum goers who need to use the bathroom can use America.
Although it is hooked up to the regular plumbing system, this is no cheap commode. With today’s gold prices, this special toilet is in the price range of anywhere between $1,474,592 and $2,527,872. Talk about a pricey potty…
A security guard stands outside the door reminding future users that even though they can use it, it is a piece of art. The toilet is checked for foul play in between every use. Every 15 minutes, the toilet is cleaned by a museum staff member who uses special wipes, rather than using heavy duty chemicals, to keep its shine.
Cattelan is not the first person to create a golden toilet. Numerous kings and political leaders in the Middle East and Hollywood celebrities in the Middle East have made headlines for spending millions on golden toilets and other bathroom accessories. Some were given as wedding gifts while some were installed in their very own homes.
Well, while rest of the world’s golden toilets were reserved for the uber rich, Cattelan’s work of art can be used by the common man.