Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s bold, irreverent work, America, skewers social complacencies and re-imagines cultural icons. On the occasion of the artist’s 2011 – 2012 retrospective at the Guggenhiem, which featured virtually every work he had ever made suspended from the oculus of the rotunda, Cattelan announced his retirements from art making.
Five years later, he returns from his self-imposed exile with a new, ongoing project at the Guggenheim Museum. For America (2016), Cattelan replaced the Toilet in one of the museum’s unisex restrooms with a fully functional replica cast in 18K Gold, making available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent.
The Seat Is Dry, Even Though It Appears to be Wet
Its participatory nature, in which viewers are invited to make use of the fixture individually and privately, allows for an experience of unprecedented intimacy with a work of art. Cattelan’s Golden Toilet 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.
Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum, Level 4 Restroom in the Rotunda, NYC.
Other than finding a source (not necessarily the “original source”) for this image, not much else is known about the Drumkit Bathroom Fixtures seen above. It sure is a clever and well-executed idea though and would be both fun and functional to have in any musician or music fan’s bathroom. Another observation is that it doesn’t take up much space, therefore, it would make your bathroom look bigger.
A Souvenir Ash Tray from Washington DC is Part of Claes Oldenburg’s Mouse Museum (All Photos By Gail)
Claes Oldenburg, the legendary pop sculptor, has long been a collector of objects and images. His studio shelves contain an immense variety of items that, since 1972, he has gathered during his daily travels, alongside experiments and prototypes for his sculptures. Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing — currently on exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art — evolved from the artist’s commitment to this practice of collection, storage and display.
Ray Gun Wing (Top) and Mouse Museum
Located in the MOMA’s center atrium area, the Mouse Museum is the structure in the above photo that is shaped like a Geometric Mouse (a recurring motif in Oldenburg’s drawings, prints and sculptures). The Ray Gun Wing, which was created in 1977, is shaped like a gun. I had a peek inside each of these tiny museums when I was at MOMA the other day, which was a treat.
The Ray Gun Wing, as you might’ve guessed, is filled with cases displaying various types of toy guns and pistols and various every day objects — from soda can tabs to stones — shaped like guns and pistols. When I first walked into this wing, and saw all the different “prototypes” of toy guns, BB guns, ray guns, Nerf guns from the different eras – I instantly thought that my kid needs that nerf review, and snapped a few pictures for him on my phone. The Mouse Museum is filled with little fantasy trinkets, toys, candles and small prototype models for some of Oldenburg’s sculptures. I didn’t take any pictures inside of the Ray Gun Wing, because you weren’t really supposed to take any photos, but I took quite a few inside the Mouse Museum, because, why not? I had just been to the Punk exhibit over at the Met and I was feeling a little rebellious. Here are a few snaps of some of the cool stuff I saw inside a tiny room shaped like a mouse head.
Baked Potato Salt & Pepper Shakers
Silver Spoon and Wax Lips
Plastic Ham, Fire Hydrant
Miniature Bathroom Fixtures and Octopus
3D Cherry Pie
Prototypes for Stuffed Cake Slices, Small Purse
Miniature Play Food
Small Chair with Woven Seat, Carrot-shaped Dish
Miniature Plastic Ice Cream Bars
The Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing by Claes Oldenburg will be on Display Through August 5th, 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art, Located at 11 West 53rd Street in NYC.
Holy Mother of God, that’s one scary showerhead, isn’t it? Sort of Giger-esque if you ask me, but nevertheless clever and extremely functional. I guess one of the scariest things would be having to rip out the shower wall to install it. Originally exhibited at the Art Directors Club’s 2002 art exhibit, Bed, Bath and Bomb Shelter, which featured gas mask-themed utilitarian product designs, the showerhead was designed by Chris Dimino.