Thanks goodness, my credibility as a cultural historian is restored. I won ‘A Cultural History Of…Dick Pics’ with my discussion of the dick pic as a form of self portraiture. Hurrah!
Here’s a summary of the discussion:
Philosopher Alain De Botton has championed the dick pic, insisting they the result of ‘the wish to reveal one’s deeper and sincere self’. He cites a 1509 self-portrait by Albrecht Dürer, claiming ‘Dürer carefully details his penis because he wants to tell us something about who he is … ‘he’s not purely an accomplished cultural figure concerned with lofty ideals. He’s also a creature of flesh and blood, defying notions of shame around the physical self’.
Have artists historically explored the dick pic as a form of self-portraiture? There are some powerful art historical examples of dick pics. Here are three:
1.French photographer Hippolyte Bayard’s 1840 ‘Self Portrait of a Drowned Man’, produced in reaction to his being usurped by rival Louis Daguerre ‘daguerrotype’
- Austrian painter Egon Schiele’s 1910 ‘Nude Self Portrait’, in which emotional and sexual honesty and use of figural distortion in place of conventional ideals of beauty
3. British photographer John Coplans graphic depictions of his ageing body, including 1986 ‘Self Portrait (Three Quarter View, straight)’
Perhaps Alain de Botton is right. Perhaps next time we receive a dick pic, we should think about what the sender, or artist, is trying to communicate through the medium of his member.
At the end of the discussion, I asked Cesci and guest Andrew to review a couple of dick pics. Sneakily, I didn’t reveal that they were in fact rather famous art works.
Cesci gave a B- to this rather lovely Robert Mapplethorpe, but Andrew gave Eddie Peake’s self-portrait a rather glowing review.
We tweeted Eddie Peake about it afterwards and he seemed VERY pleased with Andrew’s art historical efforts…