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That's One Way to Get a Pothole Filled

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iStock

Is that a pothole in your path, or are you just happy to see us?

If you're a resident of Bury, a town in Greater Manchester, United Kingdom, it's been a little difficult to tell the difference lately. That's because an anonymous artist has been spray painting penises next to potholes in desperate need of attention. (Warning: the images below are penis drawings, and thus, probably NSFW.)

The potholes “don’t get filled,” the frustrated artist, who goes by Wanksy, tells the BBC’s Newsbeat. “Suddenly you draw something amusing around it, everyone sees it and it either gets reported or fixed.”

Here's a nice long one for you all.

Posted by Wanksy - Road Artist on Saturday, April 18, 2015

 

Wanksy decided to take matters into his own hands after a few of his cyclist friends were injured riding on the pothole-ridden roads. Penises, it turns out, “are speedy. I don’t want to be in the road for a long time,” he explained in a separate interview with the Manchester Evening News.

Wanksy isn’t especially worried about getting in trouble, noting that all of the drawings are done using a semi-permanent spray paint that is “gone within a week or two. It’s a step up from chalk.” 

Unfortunately for the artist, local government officials think their public spaces should remain free from private parts. “Has this person, for just one second, considered how families with young children must feel when they are confronted with these obscene symbols as they walk to school?” a council spokesman said. “Painting obscenities around potholes will not get them repaired any quicker, and simply waste valuable time and resources.” (The artist counters that, “To be offended by that, you must be very prudish.”)

Another success story

Posted by Wanksy - Road Artist on Friday, April 10, 2015

Whether or not you support his initiative, you have to give Wanksy credit for forcing public officials to take a long, hard look at the problems plaguing their roadways. Check out more of his handiwork here, and leave your best "That's what she said" jokes in the comments.

[h/t: BBC] 

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Ape Meets Girl
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Pop Culture
Epic Gremlins Poster Contains More Than 80 References to Classic Movies
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Ape Meets Girl

It’s easy to see why Gremlins (1984) appeals to movie nerds. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus, the film has horror, humor, and awesome 1980s special effects that strike a balance between campy and creepy. Perhaps it’s the movie’s status as a pop culture treasure that inspired artist Kevin Wilson to make it the center of his epic hidden-image puzzle of movie references.

According to io9, Wilson, who works under the pseudonym Ape Meets Girl, has hidden 84 nods to different movies in this Gremlins poster. The scene is taken from the movie’s opening, when Randall enters a shop in Chinatown looking for a gift for his son and leaves with a mysterious creature. Like in the film, Mr. Wing’s shop in the poster is filled with mysterious artifacts, but look closely and you’ll find some objects that look familiar. Tucked onto the bottom shelf is a Chucky doll from Child’s Play (1988); above Randall’s head is a plank of wood from the Orca ship made famous by Jaws (1975); behind Mr. Wing’s counter, which is draped with a rug from The Shining’s (1980) Overlook Hotel, is the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II (1989). The poster was released by the Hero Complex Gallery at New York Comic Con earlier this month.

“Early on, myself and HCG had talked about having a few '80s Easter Eggs, but as we started making a list it got longer and longer,” Wilson told Mental Floss. “It soon expanded from '80s to any prop or McGuffin that would fit the curio shop setting. I had to stop somewhere so I stopped at 84, the year Gremlins was released. Since then I’ve thought of dozens more I wish I’d included.”

The ambitious artwork has already sold out, but fortunately cinema buffs can take as much time as they like scouring the poster from their computers. Once you think you’ve found all the references you can possibly find, you can check out Wilson’s key below to see what you missed (and yes, he already knows No. 1 should be Clash of the Titans [1981], not Jason and the Argonauts [1963]). For more pop culture-inspired art, follow Ape Meets Girl on Facebook and Instagram.

Key for hidden image puzzle.
Ape Meets Girl

[h/t io9]

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Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
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presidents
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
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Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.

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