Joep van Lieshout

"Rule 34"


The renowned Rotterdam based sculptor/designer is interested in economic and biological processes, self-sustainability and autarky, and the creation of alternative, Waldenesque worlds. Van Lieshout has taken inspiration from human sexuality and biology in many of his works, like his Womb House, his vagina and dirty word sculptures, and Pikken, of which one is presented at SomoS’ “Rule 34” group show, organized in conjunction with the Berlin PornFilmfestival.

Lieshout’s “Pikken” (dicks) sculptures are produced in various sizes, from small ones up to large pieces presented in public spaces in cities like Rotterdam and Amsterdam. They explore in van Lieshout’s typical blunt unapologetic fashion concepts of sexuality, power, tabu and obscenity.

Not a timid artist by nature, van Lieshout’s Pikken have been interpreted as symbolizing the macho compulsion to “extend the body,” to broaden the alpha male territory, penetrating society and the art world.

Van Lieshout has produced dick sculptures in many sizes and materials (both in synthetic and “bio” flavored lines), and also produced Dutch-language “dirty word sculptures” exploring Eros and Thanatos. To quote van Lieshout, “the penis is something magical, the workings of the ejaculation can definitely be called wondrous, and leads me to believe in the existence of a Divine Designer.”