People who needed to relieve themselves at the Guggenheim in New York may have found a shiny surprise.
Artist Maurizio Cattelan recently came out of retirement to unveil his one of a kind piece: an 18-karat solid gold toilet. This piece is fully functional, and, surprisingly enough, completely open to the public to "make use of." There is one guard standing outside of the lavatory, making sure no one sneaks in and takes off with the piece of art--or a piece of the art; its gold alone is estimated to cost over $2.5 million.
However, the thing that struck me when I first heard of this extravagant lavatory was the name of the piece: America. At first I thought that it was nothing more than a cheeky jab at America, but as I thought about it, the title began to make sense. The toilet is made of gold, a substance that can be very beautiful and valuable. However, it is currently in the form of a toilet, a form that many may consider a waste of such great material. For many people, America finds itself in a similar state: made up of promises but currently disappointing many. Whether the disappointment is caused by recent political events, economic issues, or one of many other domestic issues, America has been proven to currently be at its unhappiest. However, the toilet is still made of gold, and America is still made of promise. Like turning the toilet into a necklace or ring, turning America into a country that uses its full potential will be messy and hard, but in these tumultuous times, it is important to keep seeing the glimmer in the toilet of America.