September 15, 2016

"Whatever you eat, a two-hundred-dollar lunch or a two-dollar hot dog, the results are the same, toilet-wise."

Said the Maurizio Cattelan, encouraging museum-goers to use his work of art that is (we're told) a solid-gold toilet. I don't believe it actually is solid gold because the museum's conservator is talking about keeping it clean with "special wipes, like medical wipes, that don’t have any fragrance or color or oxidizers," but gold doesn't oxidize, and "The color is going to change, and we’ll probably be brightening the toilet up with polish along the way." Why would the color change if it's gold?

24 comments:

CJinPA said...

I aspire to be an art lover some day. But I have so much to learn. I don't want to be one of those rubes looking for "beauty" and "talent."

YoungHegelian said...

It's not solid gold. That much solid gold would be so heavy that it would damage the floor under it. Gold is also so soft that I think that, after a while, the toilet's shape would deform under its own weight.

Maybe, maybe, 18k gold would hold shape for a while. 22k, no way. And, you're right, there should be no need to polish it. If the museum was so concerned about such things, they could have applied a transparent sealant over the gold.

There's a reason, besides expense, that gold is not used for everyday purposes.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Pure, 24 karat gold does not tarnish. But solid gold does not mean pure gold. If the gold is alloyed with other metals then those metals will oxidize, resulting in discoloration.

Bob Ellison said...

No, it's gold plate, of course.

You can go to Home Depot and buy a toilet and then take it to your local gold-plater (they exist) and make such a piece of crap for a few hundred bucks.

I've been wondering about all those gold medals from the Olympics. They're apparently 95% silver. That's still quite a lot of gold per medal. We're gonna run out of it in, oh, maybe 2412 or so, especially if we keep adding sports like speed-gardening and acrobatic roofing.

richlb said...

Only the elite, detached POS's who frequent the Guggenheim Museum would use a two hundred dollar lunch as the upper threshold for expensive food. If I tried to say the same sentence to any normal person, I would probably use $50 as a point of reference.

Rob said...

Gold toilets. Within the first hour of Trump taking office, they'll be installed in the White House.

Henry said...

Gold is also so soft that I think that, after a while, the toilet's shape would deform under its own weight.

Sit on that!

Gabriel said...

Pure 24K gold is virtually useless. It either needs to be plated on to something, or alloyed with something.

But a high content gold alloy shouldn't discolor or tarnish, unless people are peeing aqua regia or something.

JAORE said...

Uhhh, the article says 18 karat gold.

Sigh.... art, my ass.

Comment or combination, you decide.

dbp said...

If the artist managed to form a toilet with under 100 lbs of 24 karat gold, this would consume 1.5 Million Dollars of the metal. It should not tarnish unless they fill it with a mixture of Nitric Acid and Hydrochloric Acid.

It should be noted that Gold has a specific gravity 10 times that of Vitreous China and a normal toilet weighs in the neighborhood of 100 lbs, so a gold toilet of the same dimensions would weigh about 1,000 lbs.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Whatever you eat, a two-hundred-dollar lunch or a two-dollar hot dog, the results are the same, toilet-wise."

Or.....as told to me once, when complaining about some food I didn't want to eat.

"Good enough to make a turd." Probably not as elegant as the artist's saying but just as true.

Joe said...

Isn't a toilet as art plagiarism?

Eric said...

This may be the best artwork the Guggenheim has displayed in years. The (mis)management of this institution is absolutely mind boggling.

wildswan said...

On planes they used to have terrific magazine with a catalog section the back featuring 9 foot models of sasquatch, watches that told when the next solar eclipse was coming and so on. And they had a pan for water for your dog. This pan was shaped like a toilet. So if made of gold it could compete against this other toilet which is just for humans for best art of 2016. You could require that people wade through mud before viewing the gold dog water pan toilet - this, I think, would tip the competition favorably for the dog pan. Probably the airplane magazine was suppressed because the art museums got jealous or else because they intend to steal all the ideas.

There's no limit to decadence.

Terry said...

"Blogger Rob said...
Gold toilets. Within the first hour of Trump taking office, they'll be installed in the White House."

They'll be installed in every house in America!
What are you, a Hillary supporter?

Big Mike said...

I've just added "crapping in a solid gold toilet" to my bucket list.

Fabi said...

How much gold does it take to make an 18kt toilet? A shit ton.

BN said...

"The results are the same toilet wise."

So, this guy's young, right?

I'm more interested in the "special wipes." Where can I get some of those?

Curious George said...

Trust me, after a trip to La Bamba for a Steak Burrito Grande and a side of double refried, the results are no longer the same. Toilet-wise or otherwise.

Laslo Spatula said...

I don't like toilet humor.

I am Laslo.

Mac McConnell said...

With a Home Depot card and thirty minutes to spare anyone can be an artist. Modern art and architecture are the biggest scams in history after politics.

Jonathan Graehl said...

"Why would the color change if it's gold?" asks someone who's never taken a shit on gold.

pst314 said...

Whatever you donate to the art museum, two dollars or two hundred thousand dollars, the results are the same, toilet-wise.

mikee said...

Gabriel, pure 24 carat gold makes wonderful plasma targets for sputter deposition of really, really thin nonoxidizing coats of gold on microelectronics. So it has that going for it, which is nice.

As for artistic toilets, Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain," a very plain ceramic urinal mounted on display in a museum 99 years ago, deserves mention. Truly there is nothing new under the sun, as hucksters vie for the big bucks by being transgressive of social norms.

I wonder what would happen in the art world if a painter came along today who did religious frescoes in the style of Michelangelo or Rafael, but of subjects such as the marriage of 9-year-old Aisha to Mohammed? Explosively transgressive, I think we could all agree, but would the art world support it as much as they do Pissoirs and Crappers in public places?