Pleasure is the treasure
When it comes to sex in art, size doesn’t really matter. Viagra pills are so small that it’s amazing they can make anything grow. Clearly it’s down to chemistry. Which is what they say about love in the first place.
I don’t think that, as a purely sculptural entity, Viagra is particularly exciting. But it is intriguing. It’s a blue diamond – which makes for some metaphorical meaning; but even that would be relatively meaningless to anyone not needing its services, be they male or female.
Someone in pharmaceutical marketing must have thought, ‘ok what’s synonymous with orgasmic enjoyment?’ To come up with the steel-blue diamond is daring for sure. So, in the look of Viagra we have the hardness of metal mixed with the preciousness of a jewel. And blue is a male colour. It’s a design for men so that they will not feel ashamed, but empowered.
By design it had to defy gravity.
It’s become a universal symbol of masculine sexual achievement, and it deserves its place in our pop art visual lexicon. It’s now as obvious as Campbell’s soup and Coco-Cola, and I hope that people who understand its slightly ridiculous role in society will also understand why I have used it in my art.
I have had Viagra cast in plastic to look absolutely authentic as a sort of tribute to its artifice or inauthenticity. The whole installation asks whether Viagra’s erections are rightfully, or wrongfully, regarded as yet another set of manufactured playthings of the 21st Century. Either way, they give us a snapshot of our times within the advancement of our adult obsessions.
The installation asks, also, whether there is (and should be) a distinction between seekers of meaning, and seekers of pleasure.