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'College Degree' Toilet Paper Shows Value of Higher Education, Artist Says

By Meredith Hoffman | April 30, 2013 6:59am

GREENPOINT — Despite crippling costs and years of work, a Brooklyn artist claims college degrees are about as valuable as a sheet of Charmin.

"College Degree Toilet Paper," Greenpoint artist Leon Reid IV's latest work, is exactly what it sounds like. 

"I'm not trying to make a work of art, but a point here that this generation feels disillusioned that they spent so much money and time and effort and got little results," said Reid, 33.

"At least the degree here is worth something," he said.

Reid is selling his work for $25 per roll, which has each sheet stamped with "college degree."

"The work is totally functional," he said.

The rolls, which he began selling online last week, are meant to "start a conversation about what the college degree means in this day and age," said Reid, who has both a BFA and an MFA and has given lectures at New York University and other colleges.

"These degrees have generated opportunities for me," he said of his undergraduate degree at Pratt and his graduate degree from Central Saint Martins in London. "But a lot of people in this generation have found the degrees aren't getting them far."

And, even though Reid acknowledged that $25 was expensive for a roll of toilet paper, he said the price was justified by his time and energy that went into the piece.

"I'm trying to support a family and myself, and I couldn't afford to take losses on this," he said. "It's relatively inexpensive to what I'm charging for other artworks.

"Obviously you're not going to have it in your home always...but it's a good thing to have for a party."