top of page

Conceptual artists and their fancy for Toilet!

In 1917, Marcel Duchamp bought a porcelain urinal from a plumbing shop and sent it for display to the Society of Independent Artists. It was to be kept inverted and displayed. The jury was aghast at the madness. Eventually an argument broke over it and someone lifted and crashed it on the floor. Well, the young man was not to be deterred. He wanted to mock the establishment of convention, protocol, and tradition in art. It was to be a harsh practical joke.

Eventually, after 17 crashes, it captured the fancy of the press and the inverted urinal turned into a path breaking artform called conceptual art. A new window was flung open.

After 99 years of the ceremonious debut of the Toilet in the stage of art, in 2016, Italian Artist Maurizio Cattelan unveiled another toilet. But you know what? This time the toilet is not made of porcelain. It is made of 18 karat gold!

And one more thing.

The toilet is fully functional equipped with provisions to flush and so on. You know what we mean…

And he named it, AMERICA.

A perfect conceptual art. Only a bit too obvious and loud. Ah…well…a bit too dazzling too!

We do not know who paid for the gold. Anyhow, the Golden Toilet was valued at about $ 5 Mio.

The golden toilet, AMERICA, is a caustic smirk on the fading superpower and melting pot of the world. It is done very well.

But the story doesn’t end here. It begins.

In a while, a gang of thieves broke into the palace where it was installed(by the way, it was installed in the toilet where Churchill used to piss) and uprooted the entire thing causing a bit of flooding, and ran away. So far, there is no clue about who stole it.

The story is brewing. Like coffee in a coffee machine.

The story of this conceptual art will go further. We do not know where and how.

But the artist must be smiling in private. He had the right hunch. Toilet never fails to capture the fancy of the mob. Just keep changing the material of construction as time goes by and add some story of robbery to it. The formula is so simple!

39 views0 comments


bottom of page