An Art PIECE: Swedish Street Artist Paints a 4-Story Penis Mural on a Lower East Side Building
A new mural located in New York’s Lower East Side is hard to ignore. Residents woke up Christmas morning to find a giant penis painted on the side of an apartment building located on Broome St. A Swedish-born artist has taken responsibility for the piece.
“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,” wrote Carolina Falkholt on Facebook after finishing the piece. But not everyone in the neighborhood is smiling about the enormous purple male organ looking down on the streets below.
Naomi Pena, president of the local community education council, wrote a letter criticizing the painting and urging its removal. “There are thousands of people in this neighborhood who are raising their children here,” Pena wrote to a local sponsor of the project. “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.”
Falkholt, 40, is a well-known street artist renowned for her large-scale projects. A second Falkhalt painting on Pike St. on the Lower East Side features a far more abstract mural of a vagina. Her Instagram feed, featuring a photo of the painted phallus, has become home to a debate over its placement in a residential area.
“As someone who grew up in this neighborhood and now working with young children … I can’t imagine what conversation this kind of ‘art’ would bring up between children or between a child and an adult,” wrote one critic. One of the Falkhalt fans disagreed: “This is the first thing to make me miss NYC since I moved.”
Good art’s supposed to be provocative, right?