Golden toilets with an anti-Trump agenda are popping up on public streets across the United States. Emblazoned with the message “Take a Trump!” and an image of a pig wearing a crown, the gleaming waste receptacles first began appearing on the president’s 100th day in office, thanks to an anonymous collective of artists calling themselves the Art Finksters. The loos popped up in cities including Austin, Miami, Los Angeles — where one throne was placed next to Donald Trump’s star on Hollywood Boulevard — and Las Vegas, directly across from Trump International.
Planned months in advance, the project pokes fun at Trump’s love of all things gold, while highlighting the ominous path down which our society seems to be speeding, the Art Finksters’ founder told Hyperallergic.
“In choosing the pig, it had to do a lot with George Orwell’s Animal Farm and equality,” the spokesperson said. “In particular, these two lines: ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,’ [and] ‘The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.’”
The idea for the Trump toilets — which are a sort of bizarre marriage of Hanksy’s now-dead “Dump Across America” campaign and Maurizio Cattelan’s “America” sculpture — began percolating after Art Finksters witnessed the rallies and protests that followed Inauguration Day. The latrines are all real, either found by the side of the road or sourced online, and hand-painted gold, with black stenciling. The resulting works may not be the most creative examples of protest art, but the message is straightforward and the out-of-place loos surely a source of amusement for many passersby.
People were able to snap selfies with the gaudy toilets for just a day or so, before city employees swiftly removed most of them. Art Finksters believes only one still stands, in Austin, out of the nearly two dozen that were installed. Many more are currently in the works, however, so stay tuned.
The “Take a Trump” toilet drop is also only the first of many actions the Art Finksters intend to take in the coming months, as the group keeps an eye on the government’s policymaking. Its founder, however, emphasized that it is not an anti-Trump group; rather, it involves activists concerned about global issues and working in the artistic, revolutionary spirit of the Merry Pranksters, whose moniker inspired the name Art Finksters. (The name also draws on “rat fink,” an informal term for an informer.)
“We are about information and education, which leads to revolution,” the founder told Hyperallergic. “Our future work will cover any and everything that needs to be discussed and heard.”