​This Poop Painting of Mark Zuckerberg Is the Digital Era’s 'Piss Christ'

The street artist KATSU says he crafted his own feces into a portrait of the Facebook CEO, and the work is on display at a New York art gallery.

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Jan 23 2015, 8:37pm

Image courtesy of the Hole gallery.

Mark Zuckerberg is a shitty person to idolize, according to KATSU, the New York street artist known for his hacking and social commentary. Since watching The Social Network, KATSU's thought the multibillionaire should be ridiculed rather than revered, and has launched a campaign against the famous hoodie-wearing 30-year-old.

Back in April, KATSU took his first swing at Facebook by plastering New York with images of Zuckerberg with a black eye. But his second punch was a lot more dirty, literally speaking: According to the artist, he loaded up on Thai food, pooped into a takeout container with the aid of a small mirror, and carefully smeared the shit into a likeness of the Facebook founder. Unsurprisingly, KATSU says it was a messy affair and that he had to change rubber gloves every few minutes, as well as take a couple other precautions.

"I had to wear a respirator and burn organic [incense] during rendering," he told me, adding that human feces is surprisingly thin, so layers must be carefully added. "Too much moisture and a whole area can be wiped away with a stroke."

You might think the idea itself is shit, but there's a history of people using human waste in art. The first contemporary artist to work with feces was Piero Manzoni, who in 1961, he canned his turds ( allegedly) and labeled the finished product "artist's shit." That power move inspired a lot of transgressive pieces that took on powerful figures, with Piss Christ, the crucifix photo submerged in artists Andres Serrano's urine, probably being the most famous. More recently, an artist named Fox Bronte created an image of Justin Bieber using various peoples' pubes .

People have also adorned their work with elephant andbird turds, but until KATSU, there hasn't really been well-known case of an artist painting with his or her own poop, something he calls an "overlooked resource" that he's wanted to work with.

In case you wanna see it in person and live in New York City, it's on display at the Hole gallery, in the Bowery, until February 22. There's a lot of other art on display, and if you're only into paintings that involve poop, there's also gonna be a picture of a puppy made from a, uh, recycled Denver omelet, according to KATSU. If you're on the fence about the whole idea, just know that they only stink upon close examination, even though they're not covered in any sort of lacquer.

And if you're interested in mounting this beauty in your home, take note: KATSU says it's going to be sold as-is, with no promise of archival reliability, meaning if the shit fades, changes color, or flakes off, "that is how the cookie crumbles." And you'll have to act fast, apparently.

"We do have a collector interested in the Zuckerberg piece but we're not going to report who it is," the artist says. "I guess I can at least confirm that the interested party in NOT Mark Zuckerberg himself."

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter.

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