Penis spin paintings have become part of my ouevre. Spin painting is a gimmick re-popularised by Damien Hirst – it was around in the 60s (in the form of a children’s toy) and probably made an appearance on ‘Blue Peter’ at some point. I question why Mr. Hirst should have all the fun and why his studio assistant Rachael Howard and he don’t explore the subject more.
At first the mechanics and messiness of the process fascinated me; I was amused by automated action painting – and have produced some beautiful abstracts through the medium. However, my academic training made me want to experiment with paint and add imagery. So I have included portraits of existing people, celebrities and public figures and have used Gustav Klimt drawings as a starting point for the spin painting process.
However, sometimes you just want to ‘make a statement’ (a rude and irreverent and one) and then chuck a load of paint at it – to see what happens. The human phallus is represented quickly and easily.
There is even a piece of software which urges participants to ‘not draw a penis’ – then the clever dicks (no pun intended) having captured your graphic capabilities, try to sell them back to you in the form of printed tea towels etc.
Knob art can be drawn anywhere and everywhere, by anyone. Saying a casual ‘fuck you’ to all things formal. It is a way of asserting masculinity in a world where men are increasingly blamed and vilified for being who they are. Penis spin paintings also remind us of how ridiculous the human penis is. That pillar of throbbing gristle, which has a mind of it’s own and is intent on only one thing – simply won’t behave itself. Owning such dangly bits is something particular to the male sex. If you aren’t amused by your own tarse, then you jolly well should be!