Face of the day

Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Appoints Nancy Spector to the New Post of Artistic Director

Today’s face of the day is an Arty farty superior type named Nancy Spector who decided to insult the President of the United States in the most outrageous way.

The emailed response from the Guggenheim’s chief curator to the White House was polite but firm: The museum could not accommodate a request to borrow a painting by Vincent van Gogh for President and Melania Trump’s private living quarters.

Instead, wrote the curator, Nancy Spector, another piece was available, one that was nothing like “Landscape With Snow,” the 1888 van Gogh rendering of a man in a black hat walking along a path in Arles, France, with his dog.

The curator’s alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet — an interactive work titled “America” that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country.

For a year, the Guggenheim had exhibited “America” — the creation of contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan — in a public restroom on the museum’s fifth floor for visitors to use.

But the exhibit was over and the toilet was available “should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House,” Spector wrote in an email obtained by The Washington Post.

[…] It is common for presidents and first ladies to borrow major works of art to decorate the Oval Office, the first family’s residence and various rooms at the White House. The Smithsonian loaned the Kennedys a Eugène Delacroix painting, “The Smoker.” The Obamas preferred abstract art, choosing works by Mark Rothko and Jasper Johns.

[…] Spector, in blog posts and on social media, has made plain her political leanings.

“This must be the first day of our revolution to take back our beloved country from hatred, racism, and intolerance,” the curator wrote on Instagram a day after Trump’s election in 2016. Her post was accompanied by a Robert Mapplethorpe photo of a frayed American flag.

“Don’t mourn, organize,” she wrote.

“Fortuitously,” Spector wrote, Cattelan’s “America” was available after having been “installed in one of our public restrooms for all to use in a wonderful act of generosity.”

She included with the email a photograph of the toilet “for your reference.”

“We are sorry not to be able to accommodate your original request,” the curator concluded, “but remain hopeful that this special offer may be of interest.”

-washingtonpost.com


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