Donald Trump recently attempted to cash in on one of his perks as president and sent out a request to the Guggenheim Museum for Van Gogh’s gorgeous 1888 painting, “Landscape With Snow.” For the past few decades, it’s become an increasingly more common request from presidents. Barack Obama borrowed a few works by artist Mark Rothko, while John F. Kennedy enjoyed the art of Eugène Delacroix.
It appears Trump’s quest for a Van Gogh was quite intentionally thwarted by none other than the museum’s chief curator, Nancy Spector. An outspoken critic of Trump, Spector kindly declined his request but offered up a different item to grace the halls of the White House. She felt that a golden toilet titled, “America” and created by contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan would be much better suited for him.
Cattelan “would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan,” Spector wrote in an email to the White House’s own curator. She added that, “It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care…we are sorry not to be able to accommodate your original request, but remain hopeful that this special offer may be of interest.”
Currently there’s no evidence to suggest that the White House took Spector up on her generous offer as they haven’t been able to be reached for a comment. However, Cattelan, who typically remains silent on most subjects, responded by saying, “It’s a very delicate subject. What’s the point of our life? Everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense.”