Argentinian-born, New York-based artist Nicolás Guagnini creates ceramic sculptures of male genitalia, often entangled with fists, ears, noses, and feet and residing atop monographs by seminal 20th-century artists. The phallus features prominently in nearly all of Guagnini’s work, functioning not only as a symbol of sexual potency but also of systems of power such as capitalism and patriarchal society. The permanence of the sculptures’ vitrified ceramic material in tandem with the composition of male body parts reflects how these same systems of power are often resistant to change. Printed in his signature phallic font, Guagnini’s accompanying text, Some Notes on Dickface, outlines the references alluded to in the sculptures and grapples with an array of issues, including the destructive repercussions of fascism and other abuses of power, the root cause of hoarding, and the genesis of fetishism.
Nicolás Guagnini is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Jeffrey Uslip, Chief Curator / Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs.