While trying to make heads or tails of who made the world’s first gold toilet earlier this month, I discovered artist Maurizio Cattalan’s gold toilet, whose flushable piece titled “America” was recently installed in New York’s Guggenheim Museum in a public restroom with much media fanfare. I also stumbled upon Donald Trump’s golden throne. Many of his bathrooms, as it turns out, are not solid gold but gold plated. As Cattalan envisions it, all public bathrooms are created equal. This is the spirit that also inspired his TOILETPAPER Magazine, a biannual collaboration with the photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari, whose striking and subversive images come to life in their pop-up shop collaboration with Italian homeware brand Seletti in Milan.
All photos by Elizabeth T. Jones.
“This is TOILETPAPER world,” said Letizia Penazzi, Asia’s sales manager for Seletti, when I asked her to describe the shop. Concept store meets art installation, patterned wallpaper featuring some of the magazine’s most iconic artwork envelop the space from floor to ceiling and the design vignettes dotted with playful mirrors make you feel as you’re inside a magazine issue, and luckily photography is encouraged.
Most items for sale are from Seletti’s collaboration with TOILETPAPER including tables, enamelware, dishtowels, trays, mirrors, umbrellas, tablecloths and cross-stitch pillows. New items on debut include: polyester totebags with the familiar lipstick, teeth, pony images as well a new edition of two affectionate deer. Also new, eight candles whose scents were custom-made in conjunction with TOILETPAPER and 108 year-old candlemaker Cereria Di Giorgio, based in Rome.
With items for sale incorporated throughout a surreal depiction of a one-bedroom apartment with a bed, bathroom and living room area, the freestanding style of many objects throughout are reminiscent of Cattalan’s scupltural work. These simple yet striking artifacts include a dilapidated bathtub and semi-worn neon roller-skates from the ’80s. Unfortunately, not everything is for sale. Wallpaper patterned with pasta and red sauce as well as popcorn floating is space are surely ogled by most everyone who enters the shop. Likely, these are meant to whet our appetite for later in the month, when Seletti and TOILETPAPER open another pop-up gallery featuring their new rugs, a few of which are hung here on the walls.
Fittingly, a few other gems include TOILETPAPER x Gufram’s 2015 “The End” special edition faux carrara marble pouf’s as well as “God.” Guido Drocco and Franco Mello designed this famous cacti coat hanger in 1972. Catalan and Ferrari “transformed [it]…into a phallic object” on a TOILETPAPER cover by adding the two large white eggs beside it. Gufram’s owner and art director Charley Vezza saw it and loved the idea so much, they have since collaborated on a few projects including a large pink pouf in the shape of a bar of soap that is half-eaten.
And last by not least, TOILETPAPER celebrates their first million copies sold with Daft Punk. The pop-up has almost sold out of the 100 (of 1000) copies of special gold-colored vinyl of Daft Punk’s 1995 classic track ‘Da Funk’.
TOILETPAPER Shop is open through October 16 on via Vincenzo Capelli in Porta Nuova, Milan.