In a massively bold trolling of President Donald Trump, Guggenheim chief curator Nancy Spector offered to send the first family an 18-karat gold toilet last fall, instead of the painting they’d requested, “Landscape with Snow” by Vincent Van Gogh.
“It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care,” Spector wrote of the toilet, in a 2017 letter obtained by the Washington Post.
The functioning toilet made of solid gold is titled “America.” The work was created by contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan and debuted at the Guggenheim in 2016. Critics interpret the piece to be a satirical statement about American excess. The White House was offered “America” on a “long-term loan.”
“We are sorry not to be able to accommodate your original request,” Spector’s letter to the Trumps concluded, “but remain hopeful that this special offer may be of interest.”