In line with other surrealist artists’ engagements with the ready-made, Wilhelm Freddie’sobjets-mannequins, such as Sex-Paralysappeal (1936, shown here as a 1961 artist’s copy) were scandalous in their day for their explicit references to sex. With a prominently painted penis, both the 1936 and 1961 versions of this work were confiscated by the Danish authorities soon after they were exhibited.
In Sex-Paralysappeal, Freddie transforms the classical bust into a surrealist object by treating it like a mannequin head and adorning it with various accessories. Placing the head inside an incomplete picture frame, he indicates the desire for the image to become dimensional, more lifelike. The work’s composite title vacillates between sex appeal and paralysis, amplifying the incongruity of its constituent elements.
Photographed in The Met Breuer as Part of the Exhibit, Like Life: Sculpture Color and The Body.
During my semi-annual weekend escape to the Berkshires, I was able to finally make a trip to Mass MoCA, where we accidentally discovered the Franz West group of sculptures known as Les Pommes d’Adam (Adam’s Apple), late in the day while we were trying to find our car. Being surprised by these sculptures definitely allowed us to end our thoroughly enjoyable visit on a very high note!
Les Pommes d’Adam is rough-hewn and made of basic materials: metal, epoxy, paint, and concrete. The four pink biomorphic totems, each standing at approximately 25 feet, are at once crude in shape, yet highly finished.
Les Pommes d’Adam was, um, erected at Mass MoCA in April of 2014 after previously being installed in Paris, France, in close proximity to the Vendôme Column, on top of which stands a statue of Napoléon Bonaparte in Roman garb.
The Snow Penis: it is a Thing. When snow falls on a parked car in NYC, it is time for the juvenile male mind to draw a penis on said car. I was not exactly on the hunt for the elusive Snow Penis when I spotted these two prime examples — on East 6th Street and East 5th Street, respectively — but I did have my camera with me, so, I bagged them both!
David Bowie’s Jareth the Goblin King Costume, Wig and Props from Labyrinth (Photographed By Gail at Seattle’s EMP)
All of this very sad David Bowie news is the only thing that is making people click on links this week, it seems, and we are all in need of a serious laugh, as a respite from our endless weeping. So, here you go, just in case you missed this brilliant piece of alternative film criticism by Rob Bricken when it was originally published at This Link in April of 2013:
A curious movie watcher [asks]:
I realize that you may not be able to answer this question in the same way that ladies and gay men would be, but in your professional opinion as a nerd and movie watcher, which had the greater visual impact in their respective films: David Bowie’s pants in Labyrinth, or Sting’s eagle-shaped codpiece in the Dune movie? In both cases, I felt strongly that their respective directors filmed them in such as way as to convince me that [their crotches] were completely independent, possibly sentient entities. If so, do you think they should have also received separate acknowledgement during the end credits in their films?
Well, you’re right in that I might have a different answer than some, so consider this my opinion, and nothing more: I say the Bowie Bulge in Labyrinth had more visual impact than Sting’s Stinger in Dune, and here’s why:
First of all, Sting’s underwear in Dune — while winged and containing a massive bulge — doesn’t really show off a lot of detail. Obviously, Sting’s packing something down there, but the underpants themselves cover a volume of space, which Sting’s junk could be contained with room to spare, or fill to the brim. The underpants are solid and opaque, so there’s no way to know for sure.
Meanwhile, Bowie is wearing tights in Labyrinth that show off his Diamond Dog in stunning detail, so we know it’s enormous. It might — might — be smaller than Sting’s package if it truly maxes out its container, but I say the visual proof of Bowie’s gargantuan batch beats Sting’s potential.
But that’s not all; Sting is only in his skivvies for one scene in Dune, while Bowie is strutting around in his Pants Magic Pants for almost the entirety of Labyrinth. More importantly, the way Lynch made Dune, the film — well, Sting’s near-naked duel makes sense, visually and conceptually, within the film’s style. It has a visual impact, but it’s an impact on par with things like the Sandworms and Baron Harkonnen and all that.
Meanwhile, Bowie’s package is the sexual tyrannosaurus hiding in plain sight in what is supposedly a fun kids’ fantasy-adventure movie. While technically more subtle, this half-hearted attempt to hide it is like trying to hide an elephant in your closet — it just makes the elephant a lot more obvious. And most importantly, remember, Labyrinth is about a teenage girl trying to rescue her baby brother from goblins — and the fact that the Goblin King has a massive, massive dick adds this weird, omnipresent sexuality to the entire movie, which I’m not 100% sure wasn’t included on purpose. I say Bowie’s bulge definitely had the bigger impact (so to speak). Also, I am 99% sure Bowie’s penis has its own SAG card.
Should I mention that “Postal Apocalypse” is my favorite thing I do at io9, or does the fact that I got to write 300 words about David Bowie’s crotch in Labyrinth make it go without saying?
ClampArt Gallery is currently hosting an exhibit of homo-erotic self-portraits from the ’70s and ’80s by the infamous gay icon, Peter Berlin. The reason there are only two photos in this post is because these were two of the few in which Berlin’s very impressive junk is not fully on display. Here is a bit of background on the photographer and model: in his 20s, Berlin worked as a celebrity portraitist for German television. Around this time, that he began designing and sewing his own skin-tight clothing, which he would wear as he cruised the parks and train stations in Berlin, Rome, Paris, New York, and San Francisco.
Self Portrait in Black Leather
After several long-term stays on the East Coast, Peter Berlin eventually moved to San Francisco in 1969, and became a fixture on the streets with his signature look. He soon began producing films and starred in the now iconic Nights in Black Leather (1973), co-directed by Richard Abel. Berlin then produced, directed, and starred in That Boy the following year, and made four shorter films through the mid- to late-1970s, while publishing and selling his photographic self portraits. Peter Berlin was the subject of several Robert Mapplethorpe photographs, three drawings by Tom of Finland, and at least one portrait by Andy Warhol, attesting to his worldwide celebrity.
Still alive and well at age 73, Berlin was truly a vision to behold in his youth. If homoeroticism in your thing, don’t miss this exhibit. Alternatively if you are into leather and the work it goes there will be a few big leather critics there, they review the top industrial sewing machines that can also be used to sew leather.
Peter Berlin’s Wanted will be on Exhibit Through October 10th, 2015 at ClampArt, Located at 531 West 25th Street, Ground Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
NYC’s very-fun-to-visit Museum of Sex has an entire gallery dedicated to a exhibit entitled The Sex Lives of Animals. It is, to say the least, quite enlightening. Aside from an informative kiosk on “Homosexual Necrophilia in Mallard Ducks” (I can’t believe I just typed that), one of the more bizarre exhibits represents an activity that Amazon River Dolphins apparently find time to enjoy, which is banging another Dolphin’s blowhole. You can’t make this stuff up. Let’s take a closer look.
Oh look, here they are swimming gracefully along side each other when suddenly . . .
The peen quite clearly goes into the blowhole! Convenient!
See it up close for yourself at the Museum of Sex, located at 233 Fifth Avenue, Corner of 27th Street, New York, NY 10016.
Some of you with very good memories might recall that this photo — taken at André Saraiva’s Andrépolis exhibit at The Hole Gallery — was originally posted here back in the Summer of 2012, but had to be removed from the blog due to complaints by Google Ads, who thought it was endorsing some kind of Adult Toy. I don’t have Google Ads on this blog anymore, so fuck those guys.