London street artist VULVA sparks outrage by using pigment from endangered monkey’s scrotum for estate agent mural
The anonymous artist known as VULVA, described as “the new Banksy”, claimed in a now deleted Instagram post that it was the only way to get the perfect blue to realise their vision.
FEELING BLUE: The bright blue of the Lasuno monkey's scrotal sack was perfect for this mural. (Solomon Dangerfield/Basic Bobbins via Humdinger Images)
Animal rights activists have condemned a new work of street art in Streatham, South London after a zoologist made a chance discovery that it had used the scrotum of the endangered Lasuno monkey as a pigmentation in its paint.
The mural, painted on the side of the Streatham High Road branch of Ahrsoll & Jenkins estate agents, first went up three weeks ago with little comment but since Calbert O’Connor, a zoology PhD candidate at University College Borehamwood, posted his findings online there has been a groundswell of vitriol.
Mr. O’Connor explained in a Facebook post, “I was visiting a potential new girlfriend - if you catch my drift, excuse me, don’t mind if I do! - and on Sunday morning I was traveling back and I was actually thinking about the Lasuno’s vivid blue crown jewels and bright red wangle - you can probably guess why! - and then I saw this mural and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I chipped a little bit off and took it into the lab on Monday to have it checked out. Sure enough, Lasuno nutsack DNA was present!!”
Late last night VULVA took to Instagram to launch an expletive-strewn defense of their decision to use the endangered ape’s scrotal colouring: “You F**KING PHILISTINE W**KERS. You wouldn’t know art if it slapped you round the f**king face. You don’t know what it’s like to create something you sad f**ks you f**king s**tbags. The artist has a closer relationship with their work, their f**king creation than A F**KING PREGNANT WOMAN DOES WITH THEIR F**KING BABY YOU C**TS. I bl**dy well NEEDED that blue. THAT EXACT F**KING BLUE YOU C**TS.”
VULVA went on, “AND YOU F**KING KNOW WHY I NEEDED THAT EXACT BLUE? You wanna know why? You wanna f**king know why? Solidarity with the people of Ukraine. THATS F**KING RIGHT. YOU S**T DOWN MY THROAT YOU S**T DOWN THEIR THROATS AS WELL YOU W**KSTAINS.”
The Instagram post has since been deleted, but not before it had sparked disagreement and condemnation across social media platforms.
A spokesperson for Ahrsoll & Jenkins said in a statement, “When a branch of our award-winning estate agents lets out their first ex-council property for £2000pcm we like to celebrate by commissioning a work by an up-and-coming street artist. VULVA has produced a vibrant piece of art for a neighbourhood with a vibrant property market.”
Bazake’s resident art reviewer Klang Bousson failed to get caught up in the excitement, stating, “The whole controversy is preposterous, the artist was clearly using the scrotal pigmentation ironically.” Adding, “It really is no different to what Christopher Ofili was doing with elephant dung a quarter of a century ago. Granted, Ofili didn’t have to kidnap an elephant, drug it, strap it down and extract it with a syringe whilst the poor animal screamed in agony, but in terms of artistic practice they’re almost identical.”
VULVA first rose to prominence in 2018 with a range of graffiti pieces criticising Brexit springing up in and around London. Noshing Off, a 15 metre mural on the side of a primary school in Brixton that depicted former prime minister Theresa May performing an intimate act on then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, led to calls from MPs on both sides of parliament for the Leader of the Opposition to resign.