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In 2011, at the peak of his career and with a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum  Maurizio Cattelan — one of the most expensive living artists, declared that he was done with the money-fueled art world. But staying away from working was too hard for Mr Cattelan who is making a golden comeback to the art world. Golden in a very literal sense, the artist plans to install a fully functioning 18-karat-gold toilet at the Guggenheim Museum.

 

 

The installation intended to function as a participatory project will urge museum goers to make good use of it when nature calls. The artist stated in an interview with The New York Times that “You could go into the restroom just to bask in its glow, but it becomes an artwork only with someone sitting on it or standing over it, answering nature’s call.”.

Another fact that will make the piece a subject of discussion is the artist’s decision to call the piece America taking inspiration from Franz Kafka’s novel “Amerika” and leaving lots of room for some tough interpretations. But Cattelan continued in the interview to state:

  It’s not my job to tell people what a work means. But I think people might see meaning in this piece.

 

Duchamp Fountain, 1917

 

Formally, Cattelan's gold toilet is referring to Marcel Duchamp's 1917 Fountain and The Guggenheim addresses this reference, by stating that the "installation may be understood as countering the artistic transgression of Fountain by restoring the utility of their shared subject.". At the same time it is also a comment on the unfair distribution of wealth in the world and a nod to the Occupy movement. No matter in what way one decides to interpret his latest work, we can all rest assure that this is not just a temporary comeback on Cattelan’s part, stay golden!

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.

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