Outrage as giant blue penis painted along building in Sweden (PHOTOS)
The artist behind the giant phallic mural, Carolina Falkholt, said she hoped it would encourage passersby, especially those shocked or repulsed, to think about why they are disturbed by human anatomy, and what that means for their understanding of sex in general.
"They should consider what it is they are so upset about and then talk about it," Falkholt told Aftonbladet as the painting was unveiled at Kronobergsvägen on Kungsholmen. "Sex is so important, but it’s always been too dirty to discuss."
Att @CFalkholt 's blå penis nu skall målas över visar bara på hur låg ställning kulturen har i Sverige idag. Alla bara rycker på axlarna och konstaterar att det är klart att en penis upprör och därför måste bort. Jag vill ha en mer spännande offentlighet än så. #blåpenis— Jonas Johansson (@tangaberg2) April 13, 2018
Jag har begränsad tro om att detta ENAstående monster kommer skapa dialog kring sexualitet och frihet. Var är vaginan? Men det fina är att storsmurfen, som annars har en ganska dämpad framtoning, nu får komma ut och ta LITE plats. #blåpenis#repris Vad skulle vi prata om sa du?— Jenny Forsberg (@konkretbyJ) April 13, 2018
Locals, however, seem less enthusiastic about the artist’s aims, or the chances of her project having a social impact.
“Think of the neighbors and the children… embarrassing,” wrote one Swede on Twitter. “That blue penis only shows how low the culture in Sweden is today,” wrote another. “I have limited faith that this outstanding monster will create dialogue around sexuality and freedom.”
The company which owns the residential building said they made the decision to paint over the penis just one week after it was unveiled because of the overwhelming number of complaints.
"Some people are positive about the work and see it as playing an important part in the debate around sexuality, the body and gender," the property managers wrote in a statement. "Others, particularly neighbors, have received the work less well, and experience it as offensive. Of course we care about artistic freedom, but at the same time we must respect the opinion of our closest neighbors."
The penis was painted on a legal graffiti wall, meaning there is no requirement to consult with local residents about the controversial artwork. Legal graffiti is part of an ongoing campaign by the art organization Kollektivet Livet to inject more artwork on the streets of Stockholm.
Tänk att få titta på en blå penis så fort en går ut #blåpenis piggar det upp eller gör det livet värre ...— Karina Persson (@persson_karina) April 12, 2018
Å ena sidan separata badtider och barn i hucklen. Å andra sidan blå jättepenisar som konstverk. Sverige är ett schizofrent land. 😳 #blåpenis— Tantstreck (@tantstreck) April 11, 2018
Nu tycker väl inte jag heller att en stor blå penis är det absolut bästa vi kan måla på våra väggar i offentliga rum, men att klaga på offentlig konst samtidigt som man gråter lite över att folk inte gillar att man ritar Muhammedkarikatyrer känns så ärke-SD på något sätt.— Sebastian Åkerberg (@Ercarret) April 13, 2018
Artwork usually remains on the wall for about six months before the group commissions new artists to paint their work. However, Falkholt had a similar piece of phallic artwork in New York City, scheduled to remain for three weeks, but it was erased after just three days.
That project – a giant erect penis depicted in pink, orange and red – was displayed on a wall in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and drew heavy criticism from local residents. At the time Falkholt said her work was about “not feeling ashamed of your body and who you are as a sexual being” and that she also painted giant images of female genitalia.
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