BEST UNEXPECTED PRIVATE ART - 2005
Here's the straight poop: When hip screenwriter and novelist Jerry Stahl visited Perihelion Arts last year to sign copies of his latest tome I, Fatty, turns out the ex-heroin junkie also purchased one of mixed-media maven Erastes Cinaedi's artfully decorated toilet seats on display at the Grand Avenue bookstore and gallery. The story goes that Stahl acquired this particular throne, which featured the space-bound heroes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, for actor and Trek fan Ben Stiller, who's been a bud since he portrayed the former opiate addict in a 1998 biopic version of Stahl's Permanent Midnight. Quick, someone call InStyle magazine! Stahl and Stiller aren't the only celebrities appreciating Cinaedi's kooky crap chairs, which are created by decoupaging cutouts from pop cultural ephemera like comic books and magazines to wooden toilet seats that focus on a central theme like Barbie or Batman. Dan Aykroyd bought three for his House of Blues chain, while George Steinbrenner's wife Joan Zieg ordered a custom Yankees seat for her hubby's office. Whether the icons are using these poop hoops as objets d'art or as a place to do their business, we'll never know.