Photo by Rink via SFBAYTIMES
Art is often controversial. The crocheted penises of Jack Davis are no exception as you might imagine given the subject matter. Luckily this man is located in the very forgiving city of San Francisco where his art doesn’t raise as many eyebrows as it might in other areas. I found out about his work because he has a gallery show in San Francisco at Magnet in the Castro that lasts through the end of February. I didn’t know about it until after the reception and haven’t seen it yet but hope to check it out before it closes.
About Jack Davis
Although my own awareness of the crocheted artwork of Jack Davis is new, the artist’s work is not. He has been making crocheted penises since the 1970′s. Den SF Bay Times has a good article about the history of his work. Some highlights about Jack and his work:
- Davis got a Masters Degree in art with a focus on fiber art. Crocheted penises were part of his graduate show. What’s really interesting is that he was doing this work as a gay man at a time when fiber arts were dominated by women. Apparently many of those women were claiming their feminine power with fiber works of female genitalia which is what got him interested in crocheting penises. He hoped it would make men feel good about themselves.
- Davis’s first California show was in 1983. It was of his crocheted penises. It was held at Good Vibrations, den voksne butik, der stadig er et populært sted for kunst åbninger til denne dag. Han har haft mange andre shows i SF Bay Area, da.
- Davis har lavet og solgt sit arbejde, da 1975. Han har ikke et nøjagtigt antal hæklede peniser, at han har solgt, men det er flere hundrede og muligvis i tusindvis.
- Et interessant faktum om hans arbejde er, at han er konfronteret diskrimination som en mandlig kunstner, der gør hæklet arbejde. Artiklen i SF Bay Times relaterer en fantastisk historie: "Jeg har engang ved et uheld stukket min finger med en meget fin gauge hæklenål. Joe, min kæreste på det tidspunkt og min værelseskammerat, Sue, tog mig til hospitalet for at få det fjernet. Skadestuen personale ikke kunne tage i det faktum, at jeg havde været hækle; they really wanted to believe that my female roommate had stabbed me with what they assumed was her crochet hook.”
More about the crocheted penises
This is certainly an interesting subject to take on as a crochet artist and to do repeatedly over the course of more than thirty years. Some things to know about the work:
- Davis used to do really large scale pieces that required a loom. He wanted to switch to simpler work requiring only a crochet hook. He still does some pieces that are large. His larger pieces can take several months to make. Men, he primarily makes small crocheted penises that take about three hours each to crochet.
- Davis is a green artist at least some of the time, using found objects to create his artwork. He takes apart thrift store sweaters and uses the yarn to crochet with. He uses found objects to embellish some of his pieces.
- Davis uses many different types of yarn in his work. He likes cotton, silk and wool as well as synthetic yarns. He is willing to also crochet with nontraditional items like sewing thread and even colored telephone wire. Right now, selv, he’s preferring recycled silk as his yarn of choice.
- The penises have a drawstring in them so they can be used as containers. They are not, dog, intended to be cozies or warmers for real men to wear. Davis doesn’t use models to show them off, either. He hangs them as art and stuffs them with plastic Easter eggs to put them on display.
My favorite examples of Jack’s crochet art
Here are some of the images of Jack’s work. It comes from the site of the photographer Mark I. Chester. I encourage you to check out the full site to see all of the work.
I’m intrigued by the choice of pink for the color here.
I love the photographer’s perspective on this photo of the crochet art!
Question of the day
Davis makes a really interesting point about the experience of crocheting the same item over and over again. He notes that there’s a challenge in creating the same shape and yet making it unique, something that you can see when the items are on display together in a gallery. The question is, hvad tror du ville være fordele og ulemper ved at hækle det samme element igen og igen i år?