Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is back and it's crap—literally. His first new work since retiring in 2011 is a functioning solid 18-karat gold toilet that will be installed not in a gallery, but in an actual bathroom at the Guggenheim.
Though a guard or attendant will be placed in the restroom to make sure the line stays orderly and no one runs off with the toilet seat, it seems that the artist intends it to actually be used. From the New York Times:
You could go into the restroom just to bask in its glow, Mr. Cattelan said, but it becomes an artwork only with someone sitting on it or standing over it, answering nature’s call.
“There’s the risk that people will think of it as a joke, maybe, but I don’t see it as a joke,” he added. Gold-toned fixtures have been having a moment, but this is next level.
- Duchamp, Eat Your Heart Out: The Guggenheim Is Installing a Gold Toilet | New York Times, via Curbed