New York Magazine’s senior art critic, Jerry Saltz, took to Instagram last week to proclaim artist Mauricio Catalan’s recently debuted golden toilet exhibit at the Guggenheim the hottest spot in NYC for selfies right now. Likewise, a New York Post reporter, Chris Perez, chronicled taking one himself.
So it’s no shocker that New Yorkers are also weighing in on the unique art piece and are overflowing with opinions about it.
Long bathroom lines in NYC are nothing new, but lately the one on the fifth floor of the Guggenheim is for a rather unique reason. Teems of art lovers are making the pilgrimage there to feast their eyes (and other parts) on America — a full functioning 18-karat gold commode — some waiting upwards of two hours. Like a true celeb, the golden throne is getting so much action, in fact, that it seems to need a team at its disposal, for its um, disposal. Not only has it been clogged once, there’s even a technician using special wipes to clean it frequently.
Recently a reporter from Artsy, Abigail Cain, interviewed some people in the queue to get the verdict on whether the long wait was worth it.
The critiques were apparently free flowing. Some visitors worried about cleanliness, others had to leave the line to use a regular bathroom because nature called, some were disappointed it wasn’t shinier and others were critical that the sink didn’t match the toilet. True to the brash New Yorker stereotype, some had verbal diarrhea, like Nomuka Luehr, a Union Square resident who offered some rather negative social commentary not just on the art piece but on the nation.
“I was really surprised about the interpretation, about it being for the one percent. When I heard it was called America I just thought that was because America’s kind of a shithole that likes to pretend like it’s better than everybody else when it’s not. At the end it’s just a toilet.”
Another visitor got an unexpected bonus: “I spent two hours in line so I could rub my ass on the gold. I also caught a Pokémon in there,” explained SeoKyeong Yoon of Sunset Park.
The greatest selfie locale ever or two hours of wasted time down the drain? You decide. The art work is on view at the Guggenheim for the foreseeable future.