SHARE
COPY LINK

ART

Giant blue penis painted on Stockholm apartment building

A Swedish artist has painted a five-story-high blue erect penis, complete with bulging veins, on an apartment building in central Stockholm.

Giant blue penis painted on Stockholm apartment building
What will the neighbours think? The penis bathed in the sun in Stockholm on Wednesday. Photo: Hugo Röjgård/Graffitifrämjandet
Carolina Falkholt, who created the mural, said she hoped that even those who are repulsed or angered by her art would be forced to think, in comments made to the Aftonbladet tabloid.
 
“They should consider what it is they are so upset about and then talk about it,” she said as the painting was unveiled at Kronobergsvägen on Kungsholmen. “Sex is so important, but it’s always been too dirty to discuss.” 
 
The penis was painted on a legal graffiti wall established in Stockholm by the art organization Kollektivet Livet, meaning there was no need to consult with residents before painting it. 

 
“They can choose the motif themselves, so I don’t think they’ve talked to the neighbours or anyone before doing this,” Hugo Röjgård, from Swedish graffiti campaign group Graffitifrämjandet, told The Local.
 
He said that he didn’t think the decision would hurt his campaign to encourage more apartment building owners to free up walls for graffiti.
 
“I don’t think so really, because first of all Carolina Falkholt is a widely known artist in Sweden. And secondly, the thing with these kinds of wall is that you’re supposed to paint stuff that doesn’t have any other place to be,” Röjgård said.
 
He added: “I’m not saying these walls are for making big penises on, but it should be alright to do that.” 
 

Kollektivet Livet normally allows paintings to remain on the wall for about six months before commissioning a new artist. 
 

Falkholt caused uproar in New York in December when she painted a similar giant erection — this time in pink, orange and red — on a wall in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. 
 
That painting was erased after only a few days, rather than the three weeks intended, following heavy media coverage and vociferous complaints from residents.  
 
“I usually paint giant vaginas, pussies and cunts,” Falkholt told The Guardian newspaper in December. “And since I had just finished one on the side of a five-storey building, I felt like a dick was needed. The wall space on Broome was a perfect fit for it. To paraphrase [the artist] Judith Bernstein, if a dick can go into a woman, it can go up on a wall.”
 
Falkholt told Aftonbladet that she expected Stockholm residents to be more welcoming: “I think that perhaps it will be allowed to remain here, that people get the message and let it take its place in the debate around the body, sexuality, and freedom.” 
 
“I think that there there’s greater intellectual space to discuss the subject, in a nuanced way.” 
 

ART

Paul Gauguin’s ‘Mata Mua’ returns to Spain

One of French painter Paul Gauguin's most famous paintings, "Mata Mua", will return to a Madrid museum on Monday following an agreement between the Spanish government and its owner, who took it out of the country.

mata mua madrid
Toward the end of his life, Gauguin spent ten years in French Polynesia, where he completed some of his most famous artwork Painting: Paul Gaugin

The artwork had been on display for two decades at Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza museum but in 2020 when the institution closed because of the pandemic, the painting’s owner Carmen Thyssen moved it to Andorra where she currently lives.

Her decision to take “Mata Mua” to the microstate sandwiched between Spain and France raised fears she would remove other works from her collection which are on display at the museum.

“It is expected that the painting will arrive today,” a spokeswoman for the museum told AFP.

mata-mua_gauguin-madrid

In 1989, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza bought Mata Mua at the Sotheby’s auction in New York. Painting: Paul Gauguin

The artwork will go back on display to the public “a few days after” Thyssen signs a new agreement with the Spanish state for the lease of her collection, she added. The deal is expected to be signed on Wednesday.

Painted in 1892 in vivid, flat colours, “Mata Mua” depicts two women, one playing the flute and the other listening, set against a lush Tahitian landscape.

It is one of the stars of Thyssen’s collection of several hundred paintings which are on show at the museum, including works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Claude Monet.

Her collection had initially been displayed at the Madrid museum as part of a free loan agreement signed in February 2002 that was subsequently extended.

But in August 2021 Spain’s culture ministry announced it had reached an agreement with Thyssen to rent the collection from her for 15 years for €97.5 million ($111.5 million), with “preferential acquisition rights on all or part” of the works. The collection includes a Degas, a Hopper and a Monet.

Aside from housing her collection of works, the museum displays the collection of her late husband, Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Swiss heir to a powerful industrial lineage who died in Spain in 2002.

The Spanish state bought his collection in 1993 from $350 million, according to the museum.

SHOW COMMENTS