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It has been over 100 years ago since Marcel Duchamp dared to present a porcelain urinal as a work of art. The piece signed “R.Mutt” and called Fountain, was rejected by the committee for the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917. Whether Duchamp intended it as a pun, a publicity stunt, or whether he truly thought of it as a work of art worthy of display in the society’s first annual exhibition, the work is today regarded by art historians as an avant-garde turning point in the evolution of art (the original was lost but there are 17 replicas in existence). In the end, Fountain was photographed and the photo was published in The Blind Man.
It’s hard to imagine the artist was serious about presenting a urinal as a work of art back in 1917 but, these days, taking an ordinary item and turning it into an artistic installation is acceptable as a creative pursuit. Toilet art is turning into a trend. Next time you choose a toilet, keep in mind that you’re not only selecting the best toilet to serve your daily needs. Don’t just look at your toilet as a piece of hardware. Keep in mind you might want to use it as a home or garden art installation at the end of its life.
Recycling is the wave of the future. If you’re feeling creative but don’t know where to start, then why not start with your own toilet art installation? Doing some renovating? Don’t take your old toilet to the tip. You have everything you need to turn your toilet into a work of art. Here are some of our best toilet art tips and ideas.
5 ideas for your toilet art installation at home
1- Turn it upside down, paint it black and white, put it on a base and write a poem on the bottom. Make the poem cryptic or turn it into a treasure hunt where people who read it are forced to look for the next clue.
2- Put your old toilet it in the middle of your garden, get a hammer and take a couple of deep breaths. Close your eyes and shatter the toilet with your hammer. Let the shards scatter in the garden and then plant around the remnants of your work. You could call it the pit of energy…you let your energy direct the toilet to where it needed to go.
3- Use it as a flowerpot. Place it under a tree and grow long grasses in the bowl. Put a placard on the front with a name of your installation – something bright and green, like “the willow bowl” or “prairie way”.
4- Lay out 100 rolls of toilet paper on a base next to your toilet and set the rolls in concrete, record a poem by Shakespeare or Byron in a loop and install some neon lights that change color.
5- Put the toilet bowl on its side. Draw a crooked line down the middle and paint one half in a dull and boring color while the other half in a bright cheery pattern. This toilet installation represents life as it is – sometimes dull but occasionally happy.