The Johnny-on-the-Spot tribute to Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" was originally intended as a clean, white installation, almost like a white bird sitting on the playa. It was constructed with white paper and white lights that caused it to glow at night. On Thursday night it was clean and white, as a porcelain bathroom fixture should be. On Friday night, it became filled with graffiti (almost like the interior of a bathroom stall) that was was washed off by the artists. On the night of the burn, the piece was redecorated on the interior with muddy handprints that were reminiscent of the 30,000-year-old decorations on the walls of Paleolithic caves. It was also defaced on the outside with black, spray-painted graffiti.
Perhaps BRC is the wrong place for a clean, white sculpture. Johnny's bare walls were just too much of a temptation for an artistically inclined crowd. It was well known that David Best invited people to write on his Temple, but Johnny was intended as a counterpoint to the Temple of Honor and David Best's accomodation of the wishes of burners.