Controversial artist to make diamonds from poop, unsold art


In Switzerland, provocative installation artist Christoph Büchel will convert his unsold work and DNA extracted from his own feces into lab-grown diamonds. The ongoing performance piece, dubbed The Diamond Maker – the Estate, will last for the rest of his life, and Büchel expects to make 150 such diamonds in 2022. A Swiss lab will grow the diamonds by applying high pressure and heat to any organic materials used in Büchel’s leftover art. The stones are expected to be about a single carat. 

Büchel says The Diamond Maker – the Estate was inspired by fellow artist Piero Manzoni, who sold cans of his feces in the 1980s.  

Pro Helvetia, a foundation whose charter includes promoting Swiss art and culture, is providing funding for Büchel, and negotiations are underway with a Milan contemporary art group for an exhibit. 

Büchel stirred controversy in 2019 for Barca Nostra, another performance piece in which Büchel towed a boat to Milan that previously shipwrecked in the Mediterranean while overloaded with Libyan migrants, leading to over 800 deaths.