L'Officiel Art

This NSFW Street Art in New York Just Got Painted Over

The controversial graffiti challenged the fine line of art and vulgarity.
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How often do you start your morning staring up at a four-storey high painting of a phallus? Well, that's exactly what those passing through New York City's Lower East Side have been doing for the past few days.

A mural of a penis, created by the Swedish feminist graffiti artist Carolina Falkholt, has been turning heads on Broome Street since it appeared on Christmas Eve, but yesterday evening the work was painted over by contractors after the building's landlord and locals complained.

 

 

While some people recognised the message behind it, others like Naomi Pena, President of the District 1 Community Education Council and an LES local, wrote to the group who commissioned it, calling the painting "the most disgusting display of art [she's] seen".

In an interview with The Guardian, Falkholt said that she wanted her work to be about "not feeling ashamed of your body and who you are as a sexual being”. She used the words of fellow feminist artist Judith Bernstein to justify her controversial LES latest: "If a dick can go into a woman, it can go up on a wall." She's previously painted more obscure murals of female genitalia too. 

 

The work was commissioned by The New Allen, the art collective formed by founders of the local Peruvian hangout Baby Brasa. The collective aim to turn the area around Allen Street into the city's most prolific street art spot. 

In the wake of recent sexual abuse allegations across the fashion, film and music industries, artists like Carolina Falkholt are wildly important to keep the topic spilling out of news outlets and on to the streets; provocative paintings like hers ensure the conversation continues. 

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