Rendering for Maurizio Cattelan: “America” Courtesy the artist © Maurizio Cattelan

Move over, Duchamp.

April 27, 2016

A public restroom is about to get a serious upgrade. Italian artist and sculptor Maurizio Cattelan has come out of his five-year retirement to create his latest piece for the Guggenheim Museum in New York City called America, which is an operational toilet made out of solid gold. Beginning May 4, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the unique artwork, as the toilet will be available for use in one of the famous museum’s bathrooms.

“The new work makes available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the one percent,” read a press release from the Guggenheim. “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 an artwork. Cattelan’s toilet offers a wink to the excesses of the art market, but also evokes the American dream of opportunity for all, its utility ultimately reminding us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity.”

The new piece is reminiscent of a sculpture of a urinal created by Marcel Duchamp in 1917 titled Fountain.

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