For the most part the urinal is a functional necessity but the urinal is art too. Not just the urinal itself but the area above and around it. Once very popular as somewhere to daub graffiti it is now recognised as an important place to post advertising. This could be for something which may or may not be appropriate as treatment for prostate problems or to sell houses, hotels or cars. There are even video screens in some. These may even be attached to the urinal itself for pee games.
The views from the urinal in the Chocolate Hills in the Philippines and the Virgin Mary's House in Turkey are second to none. This is art by nature and as spectacular as it is beautiful.
The urinal as an art form was first given recognition as far back as 1917 when Marcel Duchamp exhibited his piece 'Fountain'. This same piece of work was actually selected by a group of some five hundred artists and historians in 2004 as "the most influential artwork of the 20th century".
Duchamp actually produced 12 examples of 'Fountain'. One of these came up for sale in Sotheby's in 1999. Not only did it grace the cover of the Sotheby's catalogue but had a guide price of $1.8 million. Others have sold for nearly twice the price. Like the Mona Lisa, Duchamp's 'Fountain' was attacked by a member of the public, a 76 year old weilding a hammer.
Although many may not have heard of Marcel Duchamp and his contribution to art Lady GaGa certainly had because her adventure into the world of conceptual art was by way of a urinal too. This plain white urinal was inscribed “I’m not f**king Duchamp but I love pissing with you,” and then signed by Lady GaGa.
Even now artists do not ignore the urinal as art and San Francisco based artist Clark Sorenson regularly produces urinals of great beauty.
The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI. actually houses a collection of urinals. Some of these are extraordinarily beautiful as well as being functional.
I have selected a number of different urinals to demonstrate that urinal art does exist. It is functional but it can be beautiful, funny, unusual and a bit frightening too.
Clark Sorenson Urinals
The 'Kisses Urinal' was manufactured by a company in the Netherlands and supplied to The Honest Lawyer restaurant in Ontario. This caused great controversy and sparked a letter writing campaign and petition to have them removed because they were believed to be degrading to women.
Other places where this same model was in use were forced to remove them. Some who had planned to install them gave up on the idea.
Some people just have no sense of humour and should really get a life.