The Penis as Art

Feb 25, 2011 • Art, Culture

Jack Davis crochet

Meet Jack Davis. In the sixties, while in grad school, Davis was coming out. Asked how he came to the idea of penises, he recalls how many of his classmates in his weaving and textile classes were making wall hangings reminiscent of vulvae.

The imagery inspired him to focus on making something that would feel men feel empowered as well. Thus, he crocheted his first penis. In 1975, his graduate show included these penises, and he’s continued making and exhibiting them since.

"A Wall of Penises" by Jack Davis
“They aren’t penis warmers,” he told the San Francisco Bay Times. “They do open, however. There is a drawstring in each foreskin. So while they are not designed to be worn on a penis, you can put other things in them. A crocheted penis with a foreskin easily functions as a container.”

So it doubles as a little purse, also! Now that Davis has taken to making more simple designs, the penises are more accessible to the public. Davis has sold innumerable crocheted penises.

“Sometimes I get raised eyebrows when I talk about numbers,” he says. “I don’t think I would get the same response if I were making ceramic coffee cups.”

It’s true. This is something of an unusual thing. But who are we to judge what’s unusual? We have an in-house sacred Andean vulva cushion.

Photo by Mark I. Chester.