Guggenheim offers Trump solid gold toilet instead of Van Gogh

Guggenheim offers Trump solid gold toilet instead of Van Gogh

Guggenheim offers Trump solid gold toilet instead of Van Gogh

Curators at the Guggenheim on New York City's Fifth Avenue refused their billionaire former neighbor down the street but they did generously offer a substitute of sorts: a working solid 18 karat gold toilet.

It "offers a wink to the excesses of the art market but also evokes the American dream of opportunity for all - its utility ultimately reminding us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity", the Guggenheim's description of the piece explains.

First Lady Melania Trump's request to borrow a Vincent Van Gogh painting from the Guggenheim Museum was refused, but a curator did offer another work of art: A functional 18-karat gold toilet.

The gold commode was available "should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House", curator Nancy Spector wrote in an email response to the White House, obtained by The Post.

The White House did not respond to emailed questions from The News, and it was not immediately clear if the Trumps ever took the Guggenheim up on its glimmering offer.

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Cattelan, the artist, told The Post the incident with the president was a delicate one. "Everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense".

Cattelan spoke to a Guggenheim blogger in 2016 before the installation's opening about the connection between Trump and his creation.

"When the sculpture came off view on September 15, Trump had been in office for 238 days, a term marked by scandal and defined by the deliberate rollback of countless civil liberties, in addition to climate-change denial that puts our planet in peril", Spector wrote in the August 17 post.

So Spector's alternative option - contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan's "America" - was, in comparison, a bit of a shitty choice. The Obamas preferred abstract art, choosing works by Mark Rothko and Jasper Johns.

But in a blog post past year about the exhibit, Spector made clear she viewed the piece as anti-Trump. The piece - which was cleaned every 15 minutes when it sat in the Guggenheim - had a democratic appeal, Cattelan told the New Yorker a year ago.

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