Toiletpaper Paradise: The Most Bizarre Exhibit in America

A photo of colorful rolls of toilet paper.

Photo credit: Wicker Paradise at Flickr Creative Commons.

The Gallery at Cadillac House is usually a space of clean, contemporary lines—a mirrored and marbled exhibition space of the highest class.

Right now, the floor, wall, and ceiling are covered in carpet that features massive photographs of sauce-covered spaghetti. Over that is dozens of posters of sport fish, a bathroom with a mirror full of disembodied hands and a lipstick-pink urinal, and strangely sexual wall art of food. On the floor, one carpet features a bare ass clutching a playing card, and another a dozen chintzy kittens. Themes include inappropriate food, phallic and yonic suggestions, and disembodied hands, legs, and fingers.

What’s happened to the classy space is the artistic collaboration of Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrai’s exhibition “Toiletpaper Paradise.” It’s an interactive space, with the audience invited to spend time in the mocked-up apartment of the surreal, sitting on the furniture, playing with the props. You can sit on the life-sized realistic crocodile, if you like, or take a selfie with your head in its jaws.

While visually chaotic, the antics of the space are not entirely random. The furnishings are all midcentury modern down to the undersized kitchen appliances. All the homewares are from a single manufacturer, Italian company Gufram and Seletti. They seem staid and abstract in the wild colors of the room, as if someone’s wedding registry was mistakenly shipped to the party pad of a pasta fetishist. With tombstones scattered about. And an unambiguously phallic cactus flanked by two giant eggs.

“Toiletpaper Paradise,” which is named for the artists’ magazine Toiletpaper Magazine and funded by creative media agency Visionaire, will run through April 12, and is free for all comers. The Gallery at Cadillac House is on the ground floor of 330 Hudson Street and is open from 8-7 weekdays and 10-5 on weekends.

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