The White House asked the Guggenheim museum in New York if it could borrow a Van Gogh painting to hang in Donald and Melania Trump’s living space.
The museum turned down the request but did offer an alternative: A solid gold toilet.
The museum’s curator, Nancy Spector, offered up the exhibit, which is fully-functional, instead of the 1888 “Landscape with Snow” painting. According to the Washington Post, the toilet is 18 karats and has often been described as a satire on the excesses of a materialistic America.
“America” the Toilet
The toilet, titled “America,” was on exhibit for one year in the fifth floor public restroom, where visitors could, in fact, use the golden toilet.
But, Spector said, now that “America” was no longer on exhibit, it was available “should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House.”
The Post reported that Spector wrote in her letter that the artist, Maurizio Cattelan, “would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan.”
“It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care,” continued Spector, who has been critical of Trump and his administration.
As for the artist, Cattelan simply referred questions to the museum, laughed, and said, “It’s a very delicate subject.”
As to the meaning of the piece and the reasoning behind offering it to the Trumps, Cattelan replied, “What’s the point of our life? Everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense.”