New Yorkers love to complain about how the city has changed irreparably for the worse—it’s too expensive; it’s been subsumed by chains; the artists and weirdos have all fled for cheaper vistas. But on one Lower East Side building has appeared an enormous, throbbing beacon of hope: A bright pink, four-story dick, replete with a cluster of rippling veins the size of drainage pipes and a head like a three-person tent.
The luminous dong was painted by Swedish artist Carolina Falkholt on the side of a building on Broome Street over the holiday weekend. Not only did she freakin’ do it, she did it without mentioning it to the building’s owner or asking permission of anyone, because that’s how you paint a giant, neon cock! Let’s rip out the Statue of Liberty and put this there instead!
Naturally, a bunch of assholes erupted in complaints about the neighborhood’s new art, prompting the city to paint it over in a panic. Here’s a representative groan from one local, courtesy of The Lo-Down:
While I happen to love and appreciate street art, your latest commissioned display is the most disgusting display of art I’ve seen. Contrary to what developers and the folks you see in the street, there are thousands of people in this neighborhood who are raising their children here. While I’m gathering you may not have any children or may not live here to have to walk by and see this, i certainly was not happy to have to explain to my 8-year-old twins what this was. I would hope your organization would at least provide some basic protocols for your artists when producing art… or at the very least implore them not to produce something that would piss off parents like your organization just did!
This? This is the most disgusting display of art you’ve ever seen? Have you ever seen this Goya jam? That is a disturbing piece of art, my dude. This is a penis. Moreover, the “having to explain to my kids” trope is a clumsy circumvention—what you really mean is you don’t like it. The nature of having kids means having to eventually explain many of the world’s complexities, including nuclear war, racism, why some people like cilantro and yes, why there is an enormous dick suspended high above our earthbound heads. (The answer is “art,” same as why that one famous sculpture features a guy’s junk waggling around.)
Falkholt, who says her work “challenges old ideas of gender stereotypes and the use of the female body,” wrote that “I have never heard so much laughter and seen so many happy faces behind my back when painting as for today doing this wall on Broome Street.”
She also did a giant vagina nearby, though it has eyes, for some reason? That is going to be hard to explain to the kids.