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Stockholm’s giant penis mural to be covered up after complaints

A giant blue penis painted on a Stockholm apartment building is to be covered up after just one week, the company which owns the building has said.

Stockholm's giant penis mural to be covered up after complaints
The penis was painted in blue with a yellow background, perhaps reflecting Sweden's national colours. Photo: Photo: Hugo Röjgård/Graffitifrämjandet
Atrium Ljungberg said it had come to the decision after receiving a barrage of complaints about the five-story high depiction of a bulging erection.  
 
“Of course we care about artistic freedom, but at the same time we must respect the opinion of our closest neighbours,” Camilla Klint, the company's marketing head, said in a statement. 
 
“By letting it remain for a short period, we are offering anyone who's interested a chance to experience the work.” 
 
The company said that it had been given no prior warning that a giant penis was about to appear on one of its blocks. 
 
“On Wednesday morning, April 11th, we saw  Kollektivet Livet's new work for the first time, at exactly the same moment as all the other people who live on Kungsholmen did,” it said in its statement.  
 
Under their arrangement, the artist collective had total artistic freedom over the works it commissioned for the wall, at Kronobergsgatan 35 on the central Stockholm island of Kungsholmen.  
 
The decision will come as a disappointment to the artist Carolina Falkholt. Her first giant penis painting, which she plastered on a wall in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in December, lasted only a few days. 
 
She said on Wednesday that she expected her native Swedes to be more receptive. 
 
Atrium Ljungberg did acknowledge that many appreciated the painting. 
 
“Some people are positive about the work and see it as playing an important part in the debate around sexuality, the body and gender,” the company wrote.
 
“Others, particularly neighbours, have received the work less well, and experience it as offensive.”
 

Member comments

  1. So how does a realistic image of a male sexual instrument that everybody has seen a version of contribute to a debate on sexuality? Crass comment by Atrium Ljungberg. It is simply a piece of attention-seeking journalism with zero artistic content…my opinion of course

  2. Personally, I’d have liked to have seen a giant vagina. There are already too many big pricks in the world as it is.

  3. Have to admit if i had to see that every time i looked outside id be a little upset . In total agreement with the people who have to put up with that. How would you explain that to your kids every time you walked past? Not to mention the elderly who are of a different generation. New Zealand is a liberal country but no way would that be allowed here so totally understand Swedens point.A little modesty isn’t a bad thing.

  4. Have to admit if i had to see that every time i looked outside id be a little upset . In total agreement with the people who have to put up with that. How would you explain that to your kids every time you walked past? Not to mention the elderly who are of a different generation. New Zealand is a liberal country but no way would that be allowed here so totally understand Swedens point.A little modesty isn’t a bad thing.

  5. Have to admit if i had to see that every time i looked outside id be a little upset . In total agreement with the people who have to put up with that. How would you explain that to your kids every time you walked past? Not to mention the elderly who are of a different generation. New Zealand is a liberal country but no way would that be allowed here so totally understand Swedens point.A little modesty isn’t a bad thing.

  6. Have to admit if i had to see that every time i looked outside id be a little upset . In total agreement with the people who have to put up with that. How would you explain that to your kids every time you walked past? Not to mention the elderly who are of a different generation. New Zealand is a liberal country but no way would that be allowed here so totally understand Swedens point.A little modesty isn’t a bad thing.

  7. @Made in Britain – if you are in Stockholm and you go to Slussen station, you will see that some of the tunnelbana art is indeed vaginal. On at least one of the platforms there are simple black and white line drawings with red splodges in the relevant spots. It’s not on such a dramatic scale as Kungsholmen’s Big Blue – but it’s quite arresting and I’ve seen many people double-taking when they notice it.

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ART

In pictures: Swedish pensioner has giant dragon painted on her house for her birthday

A pensioner from southern Sweden has marked her 80th birthday in style by having a giant mural of a dragon painted on her house.

In pictures: Swedish pensioner has giant dragon painted on her house for her birthday
Judith Skörsemo, 80, commissioned a giant mural of a dragon on her wall. Photo: Kim Demåne/Delicious Brains

Judith Skörsemo from Bräkne-Hoby got tired of the boring old grey colour of her home, so she contacted artist Kim Demåne to spice it up, and the resulting work was a unique birthday present.

Demåne admitted that the request from an unexpected customer surprised and intrigued him.

“It also made me really interested in what kind of person Judith is,” he told The Local.

In turn, she helped inspire the work, which shows a dragon with roots emerging from the ground and wrapping itself around a tower.

“She's sitting on 80 years of knowledge. She has watered the dragon-apple tree of knowledge herself, and that's what protects her in the tower here and now,” the artist explained.


Judith and her mural. Photo: Kim Demåne/Delicious Brains

Asked how long it took to complete the painting, Demåne joked “one litre of coffee and one kilo of buns”, before noting that Skörsemo was pleased with the end product.

“She was moved by it and explained that it would brighten up her everyday.”

Last year The Local spoke to Swedish artist Yash about his own murals in Stockholm and Gothenburg, which gained attention for their incredibly lifelike faces.

“Sweden has been a bit behind in the mural scene, so it feels nice to be part of the change that is happening here now,” he explained.