October 11, 2012


Please Stop Defacing the Beatles' Penises

Jonathan Gent / LiverpoolLove.org
Jonathan Gent / LiverpoolLove.org

A graphic piece of Beatles art has likely been ruined at the Museum of Liverpool, and wrap your mind around this — for once it was the painted penises being defaced, rather than the dongs doing the typical ruining. Yes, as soon as the worldwide hallmark of juvenile graffiti becomes a work of art, even if it's depicting the nether-bits of the Fab Four, that gets defaced. Backlash to the dicklash!

England's Jonathan Gent created The Beatles in America in a continuation of his lifelong fascination with the seemingly cruder side of art ("we used to draw in the attic, so we'd draw these werewolves, and t-ts, and d-cks," he said of his artistic formation in childhood). The oil painting went on display Sept. 25 in Liverpool and has already been "pressed and badly smudged," with the vandalism allocated only to "visitors," according to Spin.

Maybe the perpetrators acted out of love. But if they acted out of shock or scandal, perhaps they should've heard Gent's intent behind the work? He considers the Beatles "such a global thing, this untouchable thing, and that's what interests me most about them. So this idea of suddenly having their d-cks on a canvas…it was about, I guess, closeness, you know, getting close to this idol in some way." And rest assured, Gent will be back at it. "I think of Elvis's d-ck, or I think of Springsteen's, or Lou Reed's, or Bowie's, or anyone's," he says. "There's no oddness. It's almost odd not to think about their d-cks, really."

One of the worst things about the ruined penis presentation is that the painting was set to be auctioned on Nov. 17, with the money going toward a children's charity called Claire House. Come on. This is why vandals can't have nice things. And so close to John Lennon's birthday? Where has your taste gone, vandals?