So I have posted a few blog entries that highlight the glory that is the decorated penis.
Why? How does this relate to my art practice?
As I ask myself these questions, it strikes me how Terry’s phallic nose in my work Terry was never a ‘thing’. Sure people had a giggle, some rolled their eyes, a couple did some role playing with his face but mostly his penis nose was used to differentiate him from his tribe – ‘who is Terry?’….’you know the one with the ‘(insert hand gesture here)
Read more…I am pleased the work was received in this way as my intention was to inject humour into the work, not make some huge feminist or sexual statement. To place it there was a decision not made lightly.
I find Sarah Lucas’s work often has a lighthearted approach to the mighty penis
In a book of her work, Sarah Lucas: After 2005, Before 2012, she lists the reasons why she makes penises: “appropriation, because I don’t have one; voodoo; economics; totemism; they’re a convenient size for the lap; fetishism; compact power; Dad; why make the whole bloke?; gents; gnomey; because you don’t see them on display much; for religious reasons having to do with the spark.” https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/may/06/sarah-lucas-venice-biennale-interview
The list of reasons I sometimes make and research penises:
I especially appreciate the lengths indigenous tribal men go to to make their penis protecting sheaths. It makes me chuckle how they often make them about 5x longer than their actual penis.
Aesthetically, I enjoy the profusion of a penis, it makes a good contrast to a rounded surface, especially good on a totem structure – wings fall into this category as well.
I believe penis’s are reacted to very differently that vaginas in an artwork and this intrigues me, they often are not taken as seriously. On many levels I think this is a reflection of society. We hear of the ‘sacred feminine’ , of mother earth representing a womb, of ‘goddess workshops’ and now of vaginal steam cleaning…thanks Gywenth Paltrow. Vaginas give birth – Penis’s have shows such a ‘Puppetry of the Penis’
Adding a penis, especially in a new location, can give people a focus and let them relax into your work…. and now thats enough as I sound like I am writing a 1940’s self help book and beginning to make it more than what it is…it is simply, for me, when I use a penis in my work, a throw away line, a gag, one part of a bigger whole