There are burns, and then there are art-world burns—a classier class of well-curated insult, if you will. The former simply bruises the ego, while the latter goes right for a person’s soul, and, apparently, occasionally require an 18-karat solid gold toilet to really pull off. See, as an example, this Washington Post story, which reveals that a curator for the Guggenheim Museum recently responded to a loan request for a Van Gogh painting from the Donald Trump White House by saying, no, the piece in question was unavailable, but Trump could have a bright gold shitter, instead.
Written by curator Nancy Spector, the letter is some of the best shade-throwing we’ve seen in a good long while; polite to a fault, while letting one hell of a “fuck you” float around its margins. Spector is professional and thoughtful in her writing, making it clear that Trump is never getting the museum’s “Landscape In The Snow,” by Van Gogh, while also offering the museum’s assistance in getting the alternate acquisition installed. (She also gleefully notes that the fully functional piece, by Maurizio Cattelan, was previously installed in the museum’s public restroom as “a wonderful act of generosity” on the artist’s part.)
The letter was sent back in September, so we have to assume that the White House turned down the museum’s generous offer. The artist himself laughed about his attempted gift, noting that the piece’s status has become “a delicate subject.”
The toilet in question is titled “America,” by the way; we’re sad to report that Trump sounds unwilling to put in the effort to make it great again..