When he isn’t watching television for four hours every day or being spanked by a porn star with a rolled-up copy of Frobes Magazine, POTUS reportedly has a fondness for the White House’s bathrooms. Perfect for tweeting.
Trump’s previous penchant for decor inspired by King Louis XIV was evident at his apartment in the sky at Trump Tower including his all gold bathroom. He even has gold-plated fixtures on his private plane, including in the head.
According to a November 2017 article in the failing New York Times, among Trump’s many unusual habits, he loves taking his guests on tours of White House’s 31 bathrooms, including the one he had renovated near the Oval Office.
Shortly after moving into the White House, The Trumps took on a record $1.75 million makeover for their new home, including: new wallpaper, custom-made rugs, and a custom conference table from the same company that made one for Richard Nixon, plus a lavish new lavatory.
This week it was revealed in the Washington Post that Nancy Spector, chief curator of the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan, refused to lend Donald and Melania a Vincent Van Gogh painting for their White House private living quarters. The museum did come up with a wonderful alternative though: a used 18-karat solid gold toilet designed by Maurizio Cattelan, an Italian artist known for his satirical sculptures, particularly La Nona Ora (1999) depicting Pope John Paul II struck down by a meteorite.
Cattelan had a retrospective exhibition in 2012 at the Guggenheim, after which he announced his retirement. However, in 2016, he returned with a new exhibit at the museum, Maurizio Cattelan: America. For America, Cattelan replaced a public toilet in the museum with a fully functional replica cast in 18-karat gold. The exhibit proved very popular, with lines of visitors waiting for an opportunity to use the private toilet. The piece is considered a satire aimed at excessive wealth in America.
Since the exhibit had closed, Spector emailed The White House that they can use it:
”…should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House. The artist would like to offer it for a long-term loan. It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care.”
The email included a photograph of the golden throne.
The value of the shiny toilet is unknown, but it is said to have cost more than $1 million to build. A Cattelan piece, Par Peur de l’Amour, a sculpture of an elephant hiding under a bedsheet that simultaneously looks like a child as a ghost on Halloween and a Ku Klux Klan outfit, sold at Christie’s for $2.7 million in 2004. Another of Cattelan’s works, Untitled sold at an auction at Sotheby’s 2010 for $7.9 million.
The toilet, which was protected by a uniformed security guard during its run at the Guggenheim, seems tailor made to POTUS’s peculiar tastes. And it could dial-up the excitement level for his guest on the tours of the White House’s bathrooms given by Trump.
The painting Melania wanted was Vincent Van Gogh’s Landscape With Snow (1888). I am rather certain it was the First Lady’s request; I don’t think that the president cares anything about art, he has a fake Monet at his apartment in the tower. Spector reportedly told The Trumps that it is ”prohibited from travel except for the rarest of occasions” and it was on its way to be exhibited in the Guggenheim in Spain anyway.
The White House has been known to borrow major works of art before. The Kennedys displayed Eugene Delacroix’s The Smoker and Michelle and Barack Obama showed painting by Mark Rothko and Jasper Johns. George W. Bush does his own painting, of course.