It’s been an exciting few years for toilet innovations. Everyone who’s anyone is showing off their $10,000 high-tech bidets. Squatty potties have become dinner-party talk. And now, New York has finally gotten the public-restroom upgrade we deserve: a Kohler-style toilet made of solid 18-karat gold. Designed by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, the fully functional toilet opens for public use at the Guggenheim Museum today. Cattelan has titled the participatory sculpture “America” and says that he hopes people do not see it as a joke. Gothamist estimates the cost of the appliance to be somewhere between $1,474,592 and $2,527,872, and the Guggenheim staff says it will be cleaned every 15 minutes. The New York Times’ Randy Kennedy offers this review: “As a formal matter, I’ll say that the sculpture really looks its best when in use, sparkling so much it’s almost too bright to look at, especially during the flush, which may be a new postmodern sublime.” Wow.
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