In Europe, many cities are already accustomed to finding murals pop up overnight, with Banksy being the most famous street artist to do this. Often to the discontent of city neighbours who have no choice but to wake up to a totally different view, the street artists liven up an otherwise dull area mostly. But some of them also just want to shock, like Swedish street artist Miss Carolina Falkhol, who spray painted a giant penis on the side of 303 Broome Street in New York on Christmas Eve.
For once though, this work was apparently commissioned and paid for by art group The New Allen, run by Milan Kelez, who co-owns neighborhood Peruvian eatery Baby Brassa.
47-year-old Mr Qun Chen now has no choice but to stare right at a giant penis all day as he lives just next door to the building. He stated his disbelief the first day: “It’s ugly.”
“There’s a lot of kids that live in this building and in the neighborhood — it’s not good for the kids, they’re little.”
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Local residents complain about Penis Mural on Broome Street. <a href="https://t.co/G4DRNZF6q7">https://t.co/G4DRNZF6q7</a></p>— The Lo-Down (@LoDownNY) <a href="https://twitter.com/LoDownNY/status/945658473517338625?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 26, 2017</a></blockquote>
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It would appear this is not Miss Falkhol’s first genital mural, as she already sprayed a vagina onto a Swedish building in 2015, even though that one was a bit more abstract than the very recognizable penis she has adorned the New York walls with.
When promoting the piece on Instagram, she said: “NO TIME 4 BALL$$ . . . 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.”
A lot of residents seemed to disagree though, and by the end of the first day they had already sent a group email to local officials with the artist in copy, demanding the piece of ‘art’ to be removed. Ms Naomi Pena, President of District 1’s Community Education Council, stated: “While I happen to love and appreciate street art, your latest commissioned display is the most disgusting display of art I’ve seen. Contrary to what developers and the folks you see in the street, there are thousands of people in this neighborhood who are raising their children here. 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. I would hope your organization would at least provide some basic protocols for your artists when producing art… or at the very least implore them not to produce something that would piss off parents like your organization just did!”