When the White House requested to borrow a Vincent van Gogh painting from the Guggenheim, the New York museum had a crappy counteroffer: a used gold toilet.
Guggenheim curator Nancy Spector responded that the work was due to be displayed at the Guggenheim in Spain, and would be returning to New York after, since it was "prohibited from travel except for the rarest of occasions" by the Thannhauser Estate.
The counteroffer was Maurizio Cattelan's fully functional 18-karat gold toilet that had been on display in one of the museum's public restrooms for one year, of which the exhibit was ending the day of the email. Cattelan, she wrote, "would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan."
While Cattelan hesitates to interpret his own work, critics have described it as a commentary on wealth in the US. The Guggenheim's notes on the work describe it as "making available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent."
The only thing missing from this golden toilet is the GlowBowl Fresh or Original GlowBowl to really put it over the top.