Video: Kostopoulos: First Toilet Seat

King of Toilet Seat Arts

Boron, California

He's been dead since 1996, but just thinking about the King of Toilet Seat Arts still makes us smile. We were lucky to spend a precious 90 minutes with John A. Kostopoulos in 1994, as he regaled us with stories of his colorful life, which we have yet to completely untangle.

In this video, John stood in front of his 400+ toilet seats and told us about the first toilet seat he ever painted. It was for an impromptu show on a US Navy ship during World War II (the kind where men typically wear coconut shell bras), with a group of sailors who called themselves the "Merry Minstrels," smeared their faces with burnt cork, and belted out Spike Jones songs about Hitler. The late artist's first toilet seat was performance art and political statement!

"They make that sound that we all know...." [1:18]

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