Standing before a capacity crowd of handsome Europeans and Adrien Brodys in town for Art Basel, Miami-based "artist" Romero Britto unveiled his latest masterpiece: A fully-functional porcelain toilet painted in his signature pop-art motif. "I am so pleased to offer this product to the world," said Mr. Britto without irony.
The crowd was visibly enthralled by the reveal of the striking new art product, with many praising its subversive subtext which, according to New York art critic Juan Kurtzman Gonzalez, "is as much a comment on Britto's own work as it is of our consumer-driven society."
Following its reveal, the toilet--which retails for $89.00 and was painted, like all of Romero Britto's paintings, at the artist's direction by low-wage workers--was sold at auction for $165,000 to prominent local attorney Jason Ireland. "I've always dreamed of shitting on a Britto," said Mr. Ireland. "Now I finally have my chance."
Although the original will occupy the downstairs bathroom of Mr. Ireland's Palmetto Bay home, Mr. Britto announced that through a $400 million dollar contract with Miami-Dade County, replicas of the Britto Toilet will be installed in all County owned restrooms. "When people think about toilets in Miami-Dade County, we want them to think Romero Britto," said Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
When asked by a Plantain reporter where he got the inspiration for his latest piece, Mr. Britto said that he was standing in line at a South Miami Starbucks when he overheard someone who recognized him remark that his art "belonged in a toilet."
"As soon as I heard it, I saw dollar signs," said Mr. Britto through a toothy-grin.