Artist Known as Wanksy Does Penis Paintings Pointing Out Potholes

Wanksy points out a pothole. Photo: Wanksy.

Forget about Banksy: the latest masked graffiti artist, Wanksy, is taking Manchester, England, by storm with his pothole penis paintings. Yes, you read that correctly. Wanksy draws dicks as a helpful reminder that the street needs to be repaired.

Wanksy was inspired to pick up the spray can after several of his friends got into bike accidents on badly maintained roads. “I wanted to attract attention to the pothole and make it memorable. Nothing seemed to do this better than a giant comedy phallus,” he told the Manchester Evening News.

The paintings usually wash away within a week or two, but Wanksy hopes that the potholes will be filled within that time. “I want my work to be destroyed, I like it when it gets dug up and replaced with fresh tarmac.”

The artist’s namesake, the equally anonymous but far more famous British street artist, is known for courting controversy through politically charged works, but dick jokes are slightly outside his purview (although a vandal did recently add a drawing of a penis to Banksy’s painting of a woman looking at an empty pedestal). The offending phallus was successfully removed, and the painting was later taken off the wall to be sold (see Phallic Addition to Folkestone Banksy Mural and Month-Old Banksy Mural Removed and Headed to Auction).

As you might expect, city officials are none-too-pleased with the plethora of penises suddenly appearing on Manchester streets. “Every penny that we have to spend cleaning off this graffiti is a penny less that we have to spend on actually repairing the potholes!” said a spokesperson to the Evening News. “Painting obscenities around potholes will not get them repaired any quicker.”

Wanksy disagrees: “People will drive over the same pothole and forget about it,” he told the BBC. “Suddenly you draw something amusing around it, everyone sees it and it either gets reported or fixed.” As for concerns over young children encountering his work, Wanksy contends that “It’s not an actual photograph of an anatomical part, it’s a drawing . . . to be offended by that, you must be very prudish.”

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics