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Doorstop public art

This red doorstop in the men's washroom is currently the best artwork on display in the museum

Art museum bathrooms. Clean, sharply designed, austere. Much like the white walls of a museum, most bathrooms within art museums have a modern, contemporary yet neutral feel.

Among the granite tiles and light gray walls of the bathroom in Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art lays an object on the floor next to the door. A doorstop, wooden, worn, and intensely red.

Such a firehouse red, it screams out for attention more so than the artwork officially hanging on the walls. Unlike the artwork worth thousands of dollars which has been declared “art” by a curator, the doorstop sits on the floor, functional. Unlike the artwork which is outside the touch of its viewers, the doorstop can be manipulated by a bathroom visitor.

The doorstop keeps the door open, symbolizing access and openness.

I’d like to make a series of doorstop artworks and leave them in art museum bathrooms. This red doorstop made me stop and consider it for a longer period of time than any of the artworks currently on display in the museum. If this simple wooden triangle can hold my attention for so long, I am inspired to make more of such doorstops for others to enjoy.

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Matt MaldreMary Englandunlikelymoose Recent comment authors

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I love this. You’re really onto something here. Why stop at art museum bathrooms? Carry a couple of your art doorstops with you at all times. Install your doorstop at ANY restroom you enter. Or in fact, the practice can be applied to any door! ANYWHERE! I will follow your lead and we are now the start of a movement. I like the idea of doorstops being called a movement. doorSTOP… movement. Yet the door… Read more »

Mary England