Maurizio Cattelan is an Italian artist known for satirical sculptures.
The Italian artist’s installation at the Guggenheim teases our infatuation with the 1%, implies our common humanity, and questions what is art.
Maurizio Cattelan: “America”
“America” (2016) is an installation of a working toilet cast in 18K gold in one of the public restrooms at the Guggenheim. Yes, you can use it.
The work makes fun of the excesses of the 1 percent while stating that in a way, we all shit the same.
“America” is a clear reference to Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain” (1917). That Dadaist work was a porcelain urinal signed “R. Mutt.” “Fountain” made a statement about what is art. Cattelan makes the same reference.
“America” opened on September 16, 2016. The installation closes September 15, 2017.
As an American, I am not at all offended by Cattelan’s depiction of our culture. He pretty much nailed it and somehow, Cattelan forecast our gilded presidency. Maybe America should be installed in in that hated tower on Fifth Avenue. It would be a perfect fit.
Guggenheim Offers America to White House
January 24, 2018 ~ The Washington Post reported that when the White House asked to borrow Vincent Van Gogh’s painting Landscape with Snow (1888) in September 2017, the Guggenheim declined, but offered Cattelan’s America instead.