Maurizio Cattelan’s ‘America’ Leaves Guggenheim After 1 Year and 100K Visitors

Maurizio Cattelan, America, 2016, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Kristopher McKay

Inside a small, single-occupancy, gender-neutral bathroom at the Guggenheim Museum in New York is an 18-karat solid gold, usable toilet worth “millions of dollars,” according to the museum’s artistic director Nancy Spector. While Spector does not specify exactly how many millions the stool is worth in a recent post on the museum’s blog, what isn’t up for speculation is that the toilet—which is actually a sculpture titled America by famously retired and then un-retired Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan—has been a major draw for museum visitors in the year since it has been on view.

The work, which is due to be removed on September 15, reports the New York Times, has inspired over 100,000 people to flock to stand in line, sometimes for over an hour, to gawk at its spectacle, inspect its gleaming surface and, well…use it.

Spector describes Cattelan’s motivation for making the toilet by quoting the artist, who has explained it as: “one-percent art for the ninety-nine percent.”

“Whatever you eat, a two-hundred-dollar lunch or a two-dollar hot dog, the results are the same, toilet-wise,” Cattelan has also said of the work, notes Spector.

Plans for future display of America are not yet confirmed, according to the Times, and the museum could not immediately be reached for comment.

Maurizio Cattelan’s ‘America’ Leaves Guggenheim After 1 Year and 100K Visitors