When the White House reached out to the Guggenheim museum to ask to borrow Vincent van Gogh’s Landscape With Snow for Trump’s living quarters, the museum’s chief curator Nancy Spector thought another piece of art would be more suitable: a golden toilet.
Contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan’s America is a fully functional, 18-karat gold toilet that was installed in the Guggenheim in 2016. In a prescient blog post last August, Spector ruminated on America‘s significance in the age of Trump:
The equation between excrement and art has long been mined by neo-Marxist thinkers who question the relationship between labor and value. Expanding upon this economic perspective, there is also the ever-increasing divide in our country between the wealthy and the poor that threatens the very stability of our culture.
Cattelan’s “America,” like all his greatest work, is at once humorous and searing in its critique of our current realities. Though crafted from millions of dollars’ worth of gold, the sculpture is actually a great leveler. As Cattelan has said, “Whatever you eat, a two-hundred-dollar lunch or a two-dollar hot dog, the results are the same, toilet-wise.”
According to The Washington Post, Spector replied to the request by saying that America would be available “should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House.”
Your move, Trump.