Artist Says Large Penis Painted on Wide Open Walls Mural Space was Temporary Joke

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SACRAMENTO -- It was not quite vandalism but for a short period of time Monday there was a large penis painted in a prominent spot on top of a downtown Sacramento building.

For around 20 minutes, according to people who saw it, a giant male reproductive organ was painted across two full stories of a building on 9th and H streets.

The artist who painted it is part of Wide Open Walls, a program that allows artists to beautify the city by covering bare walls with murals.

He did not want to talk on camera but said it was just a joke. He quickly painted over it and began his real mural project.

Nearly everyone FOX40 talked to didn’t seem to mind.

“It’s just a part of the anatomical structure of the human body. Nothing to really be offended about,” said Michael Contreras, who works in the building.

“It’s just, it’s funny. I mean, I get why people could find it offensive,” another person told FOX40.

And some did find it offensive. At one point, police officers showed up but the genitalia was already covered up.

“I mean, we can apologize for a joke that didn’t go well with some people but I think what’s really more important is all the really cool stuff the nonprofit is doing,” said Wide Open Walls founder David Sobon.

Sobon said in the long run, a joke should not overshadow the art.

“I’ve got truly one of the greatest artists in the world, Axel Void, that is blessing us with his appearance in Sacramento,” Sobon explained.

As immature as the joke might have been, it certainly got a rise out of people. Isn’t that what art is supposed to do after all?

The real mural should be done in a few days. Sobon thinks it is going to be one of the city’s best murals.

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