If you walked by the Old Main art gallery last week, you may have noticed something peculiar: a toilet covered in hair.
The creative genius behind the project, Mindy Lunzman, a social work student and hairdresser, said that U.S. President Donald Trump inspired her to make the piece.
“It definitely has to do with Trump, his inauguration and his presidency,” Lunzman said. “Also, he has terrible hair.”
Lunzman created the piece last semester as part of art professor Doug Buis’ sculpture class. While she is happy with the outcome of the exhibit, Lunzman explained that her original idea was much different.
“My original idea was a textbook,” Lunzman said. “A textbook about what students would learn about Trump in the future, a textbook dedicated to him and all his meandering nonsense.”
However, Buis saw the idea as too overtly political and asked Lunzman to reconsider the piece.
“She wanted to do quite a political piece about Trump,” Buis said. “It was going to be too direct, I said it was a little too literal.”
Lunzman said she’s always wanted to cover something completely in hair, so she decided to switch the direction of her project. While originally the piece was supposed to be a chair, Lunzman said that somewhere along the line, she decided that a toilet would better suit the project.
“I don’t know how, I really couldn’t tell you the thought process behind that,” Lunzman said. “It just seemed like a good idea.”
As a hairdresser, Lunzman had a nearly unlimited supply of hair to use for her piece. Despite this, she said that some dog’s hair made it onto the toilet as well.
While it isn’t immediately obvious that a hairy toilet was an homage to Donald Trump, Lunzman said, her addition of bald eagle sounds coming from the toilet bowl removed any questions.
“It was my idea to add the bald eagle chick noises,” Lunzman said. “When I first mentioned it to Doug, I think he thought I was going to say the American anthem. But I think the bald eagle noises are much more subtle.”
However, Buis believes the piece can be interpreted in another way as well.
“I think it’s about messy politics. Though you could see it as political, or not, and you could see it has bad hair, or not,” Buis said. “It’s a bit of a creepy thing. But it does raise questions about whether art is still about beauty. I think some art is about beauty and I think some art is definitely about the opposite.”
However you may interpret the hairy toilet, one thing is sure, Lunzman isn’t too fond of the current U.S. president.
“I think he is a terrible human being,” she said. “I don’t think that he is a strong enough character to be running a country, and this piece was sort of my tribute to him.”
As for what will happen to the toilet now that the exhibit is closed, Lunzman predicts the piece will simply sit in her garage.
“I’m hoping that it will go in the garage, or maybe the shed until further notice,” Lunzman said. “However, my boyfriend did suggest putting in where the toilet is now and using it as an actual toilet.”